An investigation has found that a large number of reviews on the site seem to have been uploaded by websites which offer glowing praise for a fee
UP to a third of reviews on TripAdvisor are fake with hotels and restaurants buying positive reviews, it has been claimed.
Analysis of tens of thousands of reviews on the site has shown that top rated bed and breakfasts have almost twice as many “false” reviews as lower ranked establishments.
An investigation has found that websites are offering glowing reviews for £38, according to The Times.
Others allowed owners to bulk buy reviews for less money, with one offering 10 positive reviews for £69.
One restaurant owner admitted to the paper he had already posted “a large number of positive reviews” but wanted further help to boost his ranking.
He wrote to a website offering fake reviews set up by The Times: “I’m looking to improve my TripAdvisor account, I’m currently 3.5 [out of five] and would like to be 4.5 in the next month, please let me know if you can help.”
Analysis of the reviews was done by Fakespot.com which uses an algorithm and machine to identify suspicious reviews.
Fakespot’s analysis does not prove that a review is fake or that a venue has necessarily benefited from them.
Many of the venues listed in TripAdvisor’s top ten rankings appear to have genuine reviews.
Saoud Khalifah, Fakespot’s founder, told The Times: “TripAdvisor has a huge set of problems.
“From our database, the mean of fake reviews is 32.9 per cent. For B&Bs, that rises to 41.9 per cent.