Posted by : Amanda Stein Thursday, September 6, 2012

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could believe every online review we ever read? This way, we wouldn’t have to worry about deceit or making a decision based on wrongful insight. While we do allow our purchasing decisions to be influenced by the advice of others, we can’t always trust the reviews we read on popular review sites like TripAdvisor.

Unfortunately, there are some people out there who encourage their staff, friends or family members to write positive reviews for their business to give them a better chance of earning the business. There are also those individuals who go as far as writing negative reviews for their competition just to sway customers to choose them instead.

But online review sites are not solely filled with fake reviews. There are people out there who truly leave a honest response—whether positive or negative—on these sites. TripAdvisor is one of these online review sites that has both fake and real reviews. TripAdvisor has many benefits to their users, and instead of ruling it out in fear of being influenced by a fake review, you need to learn how to spot the fake reviews so that you can rule them out. The following tips can help you spot a fake review on TripAdvisor.

It has amazing pictures.

If the pictures of the hotel look way too amazing for the price of the hotel, chances are that it is. Hotels hire photographers to take the best shots of their hotel and then make them seem even better. Some can make tiny pools look huge, while others can make it seem like their beach is clean while it’s actually a dump.

It’s overly detailed.

If a review just goes on and on and on about how wonderful a hotel is, especially if it provides details on everything the hotel has to offer, it was probably written by a staff member. Most hotel guests don’t take the time to truly get to know every area of the hotel, so don’t believe it.

It’s too descriptive.

When most people write reviews, they stick to the basics. “The pool was large, clean and very nice” sums it up. If a review is too descriptive, such as “The enormous pool was so pristine and very luxurious”, it was most likely written by a copywriter or someone else trying to push you to stay at the hotel.

The review doesn’t match the others.

Honest reviews will usually have a few things in common with other reviews. For example, if everyone is complaining about unclean rooms, it’s likely that the hotel is not as clean as it claims to be. If every review discusses poor cleanliness and there’s one review that says it was the cleanest place ever, it’s fake.

The review doesn’t match the description.

If a hotel’s description states that it only has an indoor pool, and a review talks about how great or how awful the outdoor pool was, you know that it’s fake because the review is discussing amenities that don’t even exist.

The ratings don’t match the review.

Users can give a rating to the review as well as an actual review, and if the ratings don’t match the review, It’s a sign that it’s fake. For example, if a hotel receives five stars and the review says “nice hotel, will return”, it doesn’t seem like enough to warrant five stars.

TripAdvisor can be a big help when it comes to searching for vacation amenities. If you’re going to read the reviews, make sure that you use these tips to weed out the fake ones so that you can gain better insight from those that are honest.

Garrett Payne is a businessman who is devoted to helping business professionals learn about online review management and review tracking tactics.  He specifically writes about how to spot fake online reviews.

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