TripAdvisor comprises reviews of travelers from all around the world who decide to post their opinion about the travel services they used. You can bet that they can’t complain about the lack of readers be-cause today, almost everyone who plans a trip, wants to get familiar with other people’s point of view. Reading reviews may be the most important factor that a traveler takes into account before he or she chooses a given hotel deal. Since online reviews are so popular among travelers, there’s no doubt that hoteliers and other provid-ers of services related to traveling must treat them seriously. One bad review may lead to a significant drop in income. Of course, it’s not the only platform, via which you can post or read reviews of hotel deals, but it’s definitely one of the most recognized. It’s especially impressive when you realize that TripAdvisor competes with such giants as Google and Facebook and doesn’t let them dominate. Every month it’s used by 455 million travelers, including the users of the TripAdvisor app.
TripAdvisor business model
TripAdvisor’s owners managed to develop an excellent business model that allowed them to become the unquestionable leader of the booking market. What lies at the bottom of its genius? It’s based on the users’ input, which means that the essential content that TripAdvisor offers is not generated by the company but by the visitors. Basically, it means that TripAdvisor is an example of social media with a precise and narrow subject. Thanks to such a concrete specialization, the users expect that TA will be more useful than Google or Facebook, which are too diverse to offer sufficiently narrow expertise.
How TripAdvisor works
TripAdvisor uses its own algorithms to create a list of hotels that suit your expectations. Of course, the list that’s displayed on your screen is not random. There are a couple of factors that make a given offer tend to move up or go down. All of them aim to make searching easier for the users but they also con-stitute the essence of the cooperation between TripAdvisor and hotel owners. It may seem complicated but in fact, that’s the reason why TripAdvisor is good for travelers who need a reliable recommenda-tion.
TripAdvisor popularity algorithm
TripAdvisor provides its own rankings that are based on a popularity algorithm. How does TripAdvisor popularity algorithm works? The company has never revealed the internal structure of this mechanism, but if you are a good observer, you can find some tendencies. It’s easy to notice that what matters is the number of good reviews and the time, for which a given hotel is on the server. If you compare two hotels with equally good reviews, you can be certain that the one that’s been on the market for ten years will be higher on the rank than the one that was opened a month ago. TripAdvisor makes use of the system known as bubble rating. What does it mean? You can rate a hotel from one to five and the average mark greatly influences its overall ranking position. Why is it so im-portant for hoteliers? Well, a lot of users don’t even read the whole description of services but simply take a short glance at top offers and decide which one is worth checking. Thus, those hotels that are low on the ranking may be overlooked by most travelers. Another factor that influences ratings is recency, which is related to the date of a review. The older re-views are, the less likely it is for the reviewed hotel to soar up in the list. The reason for it is quite simple and pragmatic. If you are a tourist looking for a suitable room, you may find a hotel with good reviews, which were written five years ago. It’s great that it satisfied the guests who slept there at that time but how can you know that its services are still satisfactory? You simply can’t, so the recency index helps you avoid shady offers. The algorithm also respects the principle of quantity. The high average mark is not enough for the hotel offer to be on the top. The number of reviews plays a key role as well, so a hotel that’s received five best reviews will be still lower than the one that’s received a thousand of 4-bubbles. It would be a lie, however, to state that the bigger number of reviews is, the better it is for the ranking position. There’s also a so-called critical mass of reviews, which indicates a specific threshold that a hotel must pass to enter the game as a valuable player. After that, quantity is not that much important.
How TripAdvisor makes money
One of the sources of the TripAdvisor’s income is simple display-based advertising, which means that the advertiser pays TripAdvisor to show their ads on the website. It’s a bit different from click-based advertising, which provides money only when the user clicks on the advertised offer. Usually, it’s possi-ble due to a previously set budget, from which a chosen amount of money is deducted whenever the offer is clicked on. Known as CPC (cost-per-click), this solution is based on redirecting the user to the booking page owned by a given hotel, restaurant or any other service provider.
What are TripAdvisor booking fees
Apart from advertised offers that redirect you to the external website, TripAdvisor listings give you the opportunity to book a hotel through its own interface. It’s another advantage of this platform that travelers value. It’s really convenient when you don’t need to open five different websites to complete your travel planning. Instead of this, you can remain calm and take care of everything, using only one the website or mobile app. Hoteliers understand that such a system is too convenient for travelers to give it up. That’s why they don’t count on the users being interested in visiting their own booking options. Instead, it’s much more profitable to pay TripAdvisor to organize booking for them. In this case, whenever somebody books a hotel room using TripAdvisor, the hotel receives its money.
Can TripAdvisor be trusted?
It seems that the reviews posted on TripAdvisor are relatively reliable, so you may assume that they indicate a real quality of the services they refer to. What may make you anxious is the thought that some of them may be fake or biased. Should it really be your concern? Actually, TripAdvisor moderators do their best to control the reliability and authenticity of the reviews as a principle. How TripAdvisor detects fake reviews? You should know that the review you write isn’t immediately posted. Before it becomes public the staff has enough time to verify what you’ve written.
How TripAdvisor detects fake reviews
TripAdvisor has its own effective ways of tracing shady reviewers. Thanks to special tools, it’s possible to verify if the reviewer is connected to a rival company in one way or another. There are also situations, in which a customer threatens a given company to post a bad review. A company that experiences this unpleasant situation may use a kind of software designed for reporting such instances. TripAdvisor staff also has access to the data from such reporting systems, which helps them to block these users. Anoth-er problem is known as review optimization, which means that some companies or individuals are paid to boost a hotel’s ranking position. Fortunately, TripAdvisor hires investigators who know how to de-tect this. They were able to expose more than 60 paid review companies.
TripAdvisor without signing in
Using TripAdvisor is free but some actions may require you to set up an account. It’s necessary if you want to post a review or make a comment. Although every user has the right to keep anonymity, your account must be valid for your post to be acceptable. Thanks to that it’s easier to avoid fake reviews and spam. Nonetheless, you don’t need to register if you just want to book a hotel, which is a great convenience for those who travel once in a blue moon, so they don’t need to have any accounts about which they’ll forget anyway. As far as access restrictions are concerned, you should remember about some important facts. To be-come a TripAdvisor user you may avoid a traditional registration procedure and log in via Facebook. Remember that when you do it, you’ll e-mail address will be connected automatically to your TripAdvi-sor account. It means that if one day you resign from using TA via the Facebook account, you won’t be able to register with the same address. Another issue is reading reviews using your smartphone. Once you’ve read a specific number of reviews, you’ll be required to download the TripAdvisor mobile appli-cation to continue reading. It may be a nuisance for those who don’t feel like filling their memory cards with additional gigabytes but there’s good news as well. This app makes reading reviews comfortable and it’s easy to use, so you should consider installing it anyway.