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Positive Reviews Breed Positive Reviews

Free article

Online reviews are influenced by a phenomenon called social influence bias. Here’s how you can use social bias to increase the amount of positive reviews you receive.

With the growing importance of online reviews in the travel industry, I often get asked by both hoteliers and consumers whether review sites are trustworthy. This question can be broken down into two parts. Part one: “How often are online reviews exaggerated, or even fake?” Part two: “Are online reviews an accurate depiction of the guest experience at a hotel?”

To answer part one of the question, the occasional fake review can, of course, slip through the cracks. Most of the sites try to police this. TripAdvisor has a procedure for reporting reviews. It also tells us on its Insights blog, “We take content integrity very seriously and screen every review. If you are caught breaking our guidelines, it can take a big hit on your popularity ranking.” So, there are consequences for hoteliers who break the rules.

But, even if every single online review was genuine, there is still part two of the question to examine: “Are online reviews an accurate depiction of the guest experience at a hotel?” It turns out, the answer is not simple and is somewhat subjective. Download this free white paper to find out more.