TripAdvisor and how they claim to rank your listing

Everyday we get 100’s of emails sent to us, asking us everything about TripAdvisor. By far the most common question is “Can you remove my property from TripAdvisor” followed by “Can you help remove a review that is fake” and thirdly the most asked question is.. “How does TripAdvisor rank my listing”..

At first we just assumed that someone at TripAdvisor stuck his or her thumb up his or her ass, and then held the thumb in the air to see which way the wind was blowing, because no matter how much, or how many listings we studied we could not find a pattern. We had owners contact us with 85 reviews 73 excellent 10 very good and 2 good reviews, they had been listed on TripAdvisor for 9 years and were ranked 6th out of 47 hotels. The hotel listed 1st only had 9 reviews, 7 excellent and 2 very good and had only been listed on TripAdvisor for just over a year,  BOTH hotels had very recent reviews. So how the hell does TripAdvisor rank the new hotel higher than the first hotel?.

We were very relieved when TripAdvisor themselves put this video together, so everyone would finally understand how it all works. Sit back, pour yourself a nice drink

** Spoiler Alert ………………… ( you might want to make it a very strong drink ) and try and enjoy this movie that will answer your question once and for all.. 



What!!? are you serious TripAdvisor? Is some warped sick joke?  This is a prime example of how TripAdvisor thinks and treats everyone like idiots!!.. The above video is completely worthless, and doesn’t explain a damn thing. Or it explains something, but definitely NOT how TripAdvisor REALLY ranks your listing 

We now believe there are TWO options of how it’s really done,  the first option is mentioned above, they stick a thumb up their ass and hold it in the wind.. Or, and this is the most likely method, they accept payments for improving the rankings. If you look up any city on TripAdvisor, and check the rankings, it never makes sense when you look at the review details, BUT it is as clear as daylight that nearly all the highest ranking listings are also “Paid Listings”  coincidence?  well that is for you to decide.


So, TripAdvisor claims the rankings are based on THREE categories : QUANTITYQUALITY and AGE of the Reviews..

Now we have that information, we would like you to study the below properties, remember to look at the Quality of the reviews, the Quantity of reviews and the Age of the reviews.


Here are the details of property ONE : [ can also be seen here on Tripadvisor

The Golden Key Motel in Pleasantville – New Jersey – USA

Ranked number 7 out of 17,  with just 4 ONE TIME reviews, last review posted on July 5th 2011

 YEAH, we know exactly what you are thinking.. Holy Shit! if this place is ranked number 7 out of 17 on TripAdvisor, the site THEY claim you can trust, then what the hell are the other 10 like that are ranked below this dead zone. Well lets take a look at the hotel that is ranked number 8 out of 17 so rated worse on TripAdvisor than the above hotel..



Here are the details of property TWO : [ can also be seen here on Tripadvisor ]  [ we only copied the first page of reviews ]

Quality Inn in Pleasantville – New Jersey – USA

Ranked number 8 out of 17,  with 21 reviews, last review posted on September 30th 2012

Quality Inn 

YEAH, don’t worry, we know exactly what you are thinking, and we totally agree with you all.. HOW the hell does TripAdvisor rank this hotel lower than the Dead Zone hotel ranked number 7 ??.. Maybe we are missing something, lets double check with the three categories TripAdvisor uses..


Quantity –  

4 reviews vs 21 reviews in favor of the second hotel..

OK, lets try something else..

Property 1 : 3 out of 4 Reviews rated Terrible which is 75%

Property 2 :  8 out of 21 = 38% are rated terrible.  not bad at all compared to the 1st one

Damn!!..  that doesn’t work, property 2 is FAR better than property 1  going by quantity..



Quality – ( just check the 4 latest reviews seeing as property 1 only has 4 reviews )

Property 1 has only received reviews from ONE time Reviewers  which totals 4 reviews

Property 2 has received reviews from reviewers totaling 32 Reviews  from among other 2 Contributor’s

So, Hotel number 2 wins by a mile yet again



But WAIT, maybe the AGE of the Review is the most important category, Yes, this one probably counts double, so let’s check..

Property 1 : The last review which was rated Terrible was posted on … July 5th 2011

Property 2 : The last review which was rated Very Good was posted on … September 30th 2012 

So yet again Property 1 wins hands down, which makes it a clean 3 out of 3 win.



So, there is no doubt property 2 should be well above property 1, but maybe TripAdvisor knows something we don’t, and as always, unlike them we are transparent, and we contacted TripAdvisor and asked if they could explain what we did wrong.. We understand they are very busy fixing their more than 25 sophisticated filters that aren’t working, and their detectives ( haha) that obviously haven’t got a clue. When we hear back from them, we will post their response below.

TripAdvisors response will be posted here when we hear back from them

So, for anyone that wants to know how TripAdvisor ranks a property, just pay them, that always works, it works with reviews and it works with rankings. How much you will have to pay, we don’t know, we would suggest contacting them, but we all know you will be ignored.. or maybe not if you are willing to pay..





TripAdvisor Warning

TripAdvisor Warning

We are a small group of 9 people that are tired of the way TripAdvisor chooses to conduct their business, mainly because of the total lack of consideration towards “owners” in the hospitality world. We are based in the USA, Europe and New Zealand.
TripAdvisor Warning
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  1. I read with interest the approximate calculation of the rank, I have developed differently and shows how you wrote. I created a tool where you just enter the url of the structure that we read on tripadvisor and he calculates the rank.

    Thanks for the great work you do for us!

  2. Thank god someone is standing up to Tripadvisor.
    I own a restaurant in Edinburgh, Scotland.
    We are a small family run establishment who have been in business for 2 years.
    I never used to give tripadvisor much thought as we were busy with many return customers.
    Then out the blue i got an e mail from Tripadvisor accussing me of writing fake reveiws and informing us that we would be penalised in terms of rankings.
    We went from 189 to 980 overnight. The majority of positive reveiws were removed and we were left with the crap ones. Most of which were the usual petty rubbish.
    I sent tripadvisor an e mail explaining that nor me or anyone i know had written fake reveiws. We didnt care enough about tripadvisor to go to the hassle of finding e mail addresses and writing reveiws. My place only has 5 members of staff including my wife and myself.
    They replied saying they used advanced technology to hunt out fakes and mine had been flagged up. I asked to be removed but they refused to do.
    Business has definatly slowed down with fewer new customers than before.
    Have you any idea how i can remove my business from tripadvisor?

    Kind regards
    Gary Thomson

    • Trevor Smith says:

      Photographs are the copyright of the person who took them. Trip Advisor is not therefore allowed to display internal photographs of property on its site without the approval of the copyright holder. They need to be made aware of this and threatened with legal action if they are not immediately removed on request.

  3. TripAdvisor can definitely be a bitch, and I’m sure fake reviews between competition are rife. However, if you play the game you could benefit massively. I wrote a blog post detailing how to make a most out of TripAdvisor without resorting to dirt tactics. If anyone is interested, you can read it here:

  4. Veridea Jane says:

    I think it’s pretty messed up that competitors, angry ex-employees, angry ex-wives can rate a business on tripadvisor. Here is a stable, proven solution that gets a small, hometown restaurant good reviews from their customers and a daily 10 fold increase in trip advisor rank … |

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