Why TripAdvisor’s Ranking Algorithm Change Is A Good Thing for Small Hotels

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TripAdvisor found that there were flaws in their ranking algorithm, where newer properties ranked higher when they had fewer, higher rated reviews.

To fix this TripAdvisor implemented changes to their ranking algorithm.

In summary:

  • More reviews are better than fewer reviews;
  • Good reviews are better than poor reviews; and
  • Recent reviews are better than older reviews.

These ranking changes are a good thing for small hotels, because it means that competing accommodation providers will be ranked more fairly, more travelers will trust in TripAdvisor’s rankings, and your profile will hold that much more weight when travelers are browsing through it.

What does this mean for small hotels?

Quantity matters

The recent algorithm changes mean that you won’t necessarily rank higher if you have a handful of recent 5-star reviews, when others in your area have dozens.

To keep your numbers up, continue to encourage each guest to leave reviews after their stay.

Because yours is a small property, you will naturally have less guests and therefore less reviews than larger hotels.

However, you can offer personalized service – the kind that big hotels can’t compete with, and that will inspire guests to write genuine reviews.

Quality matters

Having higher star ratings will still lead to a better TripAdvisor ranking, so do your best to impress your guests!

According to TripAdvisor “all other things being equal, a property with more 4- and 5-bubble ratings will rank higher than a business with lower bubble ratings”.

Recency matters

You may have hundreds of reviews… from 5 years ago! These are being devalued in TripAdvisor’s eyes.

Why? Today’s travelers are looking to stay at your property in the near future, and your reviews need to be from the present.

In your post-stay email (this should be automated by your booking engine), ask for honest reviews. And be sure that you log in to your TripAdvisor account each day to manage them.

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