How to handle fake reviews on TripAdvisor

Frederik Hermann

5 min read Last Updated Oct 12, 2021

The truth is that fake reviews for hotels and guesthouses happen. Whether they are posted by your rivals or people who hold a grudge against you, fraudulent and fake reviews on TripAdvisor can take a toll on your online reputation.

  1. Be proactive… don’t take more than 48 hours to respond
  2. Be respectful… treat your reviewer like a valued customer
  3. Be honest… be open and truthful with the reviewer

TripAdvisor’s newly released study of TripAdvisor users across the globe highlights one fundamental point – reviews matter.

  • 96% of TripAdvisor users consult reviews when planning a vacation or booking a hotel, resort or guesthouse.
  • 83% of TripAdvisor users will “customarily” or “perpetually” read reviews before booking a property.
fake reviews on TripAdvisor

Spotting fake reviews on TripAdvisor

While travel review websites like TripAdvisor are beneficial for users planning a vacation or booking a property, business owners should be watching for bogus reviews of their establishment on the site. If you notice any of the points mentioned below, the review you are reading may be fake.

Here are 4 helpful tips to find fake reviews on TripAdvisor:

1. There’s limited information about the reviewer

Sites like TripAdvisor always try to relate reviews with actual experiences and users. Reviewers who only post a limited number of reviews or have inadequate profile information or social connections are more likely to be faking.

2. The opinions are all or nothing

Fake reviews tend to be more extreme than genuine customer reviews. Fake negative reviews about your hotel or restaurant will contain more negative sentiments as compared to legitimate negative reviews. These reviews contain more hateful words and phrases than they do authentic information about a bad experience.

3. A sudden blast of reviews

One of the easiest ways to identify fake reviews on TripAdvisor is by looking at the time stamps of the reviews. If you see a sudden blast of negative reviews for your business, there’s a good chance that someone is trying to destroy your reputation.

4. Incomplete information and smaller words

Fake reviews don’t mention details. Another way of spotting fake reviews about your business is carefully analyzing the vocabulary used in the review. Fake TripAdvisor reviews are marked by shorter words and limited description of the hotel or restaurant. Moreover, these reviews often have incorrect grammar and poor punctuation.

reviews on tripadvisor

Reporting fake reviews to TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor’s team of moderators are on constant lookout for suspicious reviews. However, since many reviews appear honest, it’s inevitable that some will slide through. The company has a policy on fraudulent reviews and will consider any shady reviews that are brought to their attention.

To report a fake review on TripAdvisor, here’s what you can do:

  1. Log into your TripAdvisor Account and click on the “Your Business” tab in the top right corner.
  2. Click on “Manage Reviews”.
  3. Below the “Concerned about a review?” headline, click on “See our guidelines and submit your comments.”

From here, you can flag the review that is worrying you. Because you have just 500 characters to describe the situation, it’s critical to be as brief as possible. Ensure that you point out any discrepancies in the review. Provide TripAdvisor with any proof you have to substantiate your claim. To make your case strong, be as concise as possible.

Responding to negative reviews on TripAdvisor — Is it a good idea?

Although the perfect solution for fake reviews is to immediately flag them and have them removed, what will you do if your removal request is turned down by TripAdvisor?

In such cases, it’s essential to defend your property’s online reputation with a thoughtful response. Genuine or fake, negative or positive, it’s always recommended to respond to each review your business receives.

A polite response like the one mentioned below can work wonders.

“We take guest grievances very seriously. However, we have no record or memory of any guest experience that matches your narrative; please get in touch with us if you would like to discuss the issue in detail.”

The solution is to come across as considerate and helpful. Responding quickly with a steady and professional rebuttal will make it clear to casual readers that you are dealing with a fake review. It will also send a strong message to anyone considering posting a fake review that you are up to the challenge.

Hotels, restaurants and other small businesses can lose a significant part of their business if they receive fake negative reviews or get red-flagged by TripAdvisor for “suspicious activity”, yet they often have no recourse except to take the website to court, and many simply don’t have the financial resources to combat these problems.

Birdeye’s online reputation management solution makes it easy to identify new reviews, whether real or fake, on review sites across the web, and to quickly respond to them in a manner that builds your brand. It can also help you get a fresh stream of reviews that will lead travelers and new customers to your doorstep.

Interested in learning more about how Birdeye can help you keep a check on your online reputation?