Alakazam 🦄
Jan 29, 2019 · 4 min read
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Hey there 👋

If you’re someone in the hospitality industry, 🏨 you probably have a love/hate relationship with the review site, TripAdvisor.

The internet has changed the way we travel, and we rely on reviews ✅ to make decisions when it comes to where we settle down for the night.

It’s not only me saying this — a Forrester survey of over 2,100 travelers commissioned by TripAdvisor said that:

81% of travelers suggest reviews are important, while only 3% suggest they were not.

Fine, let’s put it to the test.

Which hotel are you more likely to check out? 🤔

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I bet you chose the hotel ranked #2. 😁
Everyone gets influenced by the ratings. 🤷

So if you’re someone who owns a hotel or a restaurant, it might sound a little daunting to encourage people to leave a review. 😬
Maybe it’s the fear of having to deal with a negative review. 🙅

But you shouldn’t let this discourage you from using the site to reach your growth targets.

Let’s get down to business and breakdown how the ranking works. 📈

There’s two scores.

TripAdvisor Rating: This is the written review a guest will leave once they have stayed with you. Based on these reviews you will be given a rating, with 5 being the highest.

TripAdvisor Ranking: TripAdvisor uses algorithms to rank and score a property based on a few different points. We’ll dive into this soon to understand how the algorithm works.

This is how the Popularity Ranking works:

The Popularity Ranking is based on the quality, recency and quantity of reviews that a business receives from users — and the consistency of those reviews over time.


The bubble ratings that users provide as part of their reviews are used to rank the quality of the experience at each listing. All other things being equal, a business with more 5-bubble ratings will rank higher than a business with lower bubble ratings.


Recent reviews are more valuable than older reviews. They give a more accurate representation of the current experience. This means reviews — good or bad — that are older will not count as much towards a business’s ranking as a review written more recently. Older reviews do not have as much weight in the ranking. But they are still visible in the Overview section of each listing and in the business’s review history.


The number of reviews is a critical indicator to TripAdvisor users about a business. TripAdvisor users typically read many reviews to help form a balanced opinion on a business. They have more confidence in their decisions when they see agreement across a large set of fellow users’ reviews.

When I say review quantity, it’s important to note that a business just needs to have enough reviews to provide statistical significance and allow for a confident comparison to other businesses. Just having more reviews doesn’t mean that a business will be ranked higher than its competitors.

The Popularity Ranking algorithm is designed to provide a statistical measure of confidence about the current experience at a business. As more reviews accumulate on a business over time, there is more insight into the potential experience consumers can expect.

Consistency: putting it all together

In summary:

  • Good reviews are better than poor reviews
  • Recent reviews are given more weight than older reviews
  • More reviews help build confidence faster

These factors interact over time to determine a business’s Popularity Ranking. For example, the quality and quantity of reviews over time provide TripAdvisor with a view of each business’s consistency. A business that has consistently good reviews will rank higher than one with a similar number of good and poor reviews. Similarly, recency and quantity are closely linked — a large number of recent reviews will be valued higher than ones that are several years old.

You know, should check out the website if you want to learn more about what we do. We’re automating online marketing, but that’s not all. Check out that link!

Oh! And sign up for the weekly updates to stay in the know. I tend to get into a bit of mischief on the daily. So I’m pretty sure our newsletters are unlike any you’ve subscribed to!

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