Staying trustworthy in the age of fake reviews

Article image shows a man who is holding a burning newspaper.
Photo by
Elijah O'Donnell

TripAdvisor is again under fire for failing to detect fake reviews on its platform. After the big fraud scandal in 2017, it seems that new, improved algorithms are still not able to identify 5-star ratings from suspicious one-time reviewers.

The good news is that TripAdvisor, Google Maps and other rating portals are opening the doors for independent hoteliers and restaurant owners to raise to the top. Getting reservations without the approval stamp from professional critics is crucial to get new businesses off the ground.

However, by cutting out the middleman, we are also changing the dynamics of critical judgement and therefore introduce a new era of healthy mistrust.

So, how can we effectively position our values and superior standards in the modern era of distrust? As for every industry, your own web presence is still the best place to showcase excellence and convert prospects into returning visitors.

We need to copy the success-proven system of user-generated reviews and add layers that are relevant to our business. If TripAdvisor shows us user photos, nicknames and hometowns, we display full names and the reason for their visit. Since we are not bound to fixed schemes, we can get creative and ask highly relevant questions to our guests. Which starter did they enjoy the most and what details made them fall in love with our place? By trying to get as specific as possible, we let our guests tell a convincing story about us. All we need to do is to capture and showcase the examples prominently on our homepage.

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