TripAdvisor – Pay Per Review

Thank you to @forfeng (Heather Turner of Forfeng Designs) for bringing and to our attention via Twitter. (Note: these sites have now closed).

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These sites begin by offering a free “insider report” on how TripAdvisor works.  The site says that the authors are “a team of hotel marketing experts” and the sales pitch is signed by “JC – TripAdvisor ex-employee” who says:

Once you get our Free Report you will understand…

  • The TripAdvisor Philosophy – You need to really understand the problem behind the values and marketing strategies behind TripAdvisor, to understand the real risks of bad reviews in this site.
  • The TripAdvisor Secrets – how does TripAdvisor really makes money and why they don’t want you to know how they rank hotels.
  • The Fake Review Algorithm – How does TripAdvisor detects fake algorithms and how can you skip their detection system. In a few words… how you can play with the system!
  • The Ranking Algorithm – how does TripAdvisor really ranks businesses and who you can improve your ranking by fooling the algorithm
  • How to Rank higher than ever – We reveal what TripAdvisor doesn’t want you to know!

However, it does not stop there.  This is a preamble to an offer to put FOUR REVIEWS EVERY MONTH on TripAdvisor website on your behalf in return for payment.

Here’s how the websites say their scam works (the spelling mistakes/typos are original) :

How much does this cost and how many reviews do I get per month?

Trip-Ranking costs $67 US per month and you get each month 4 reviews

What Type of reviews do I get?

For obvious reasons you get Great Reviews. Not stupidly written reviews but instead smart, poisitive

How can you guarantee TripAdivsor will not detect these reviews?

Mainly because the users we use to post the reviews, have been created a long time ago. Many of our users are REAL users, they have posted dozen of posts in TripAdvisor therefore escape from the TripAdvisor false review algorithm

How long will it take me to increase my TripAdvisor Ranking?

It all dpeends on the area you are located. If you are a hotel In New York your competition is bigger than if you are a B&B in Ibiza!

Can I submit my own reviews for your team to post them?

Sure you can! once you subscribe you will get out contact details and our subscription form.  The more information you send us about your business, the better!

How long will this service be open to the tourism industry?
We are limiting our service only to 100 hotels. Once we achieve that number of clients we will close our service to the public.

So for just you can start taking control of your TripAdvisor image.

Sounds pricy, but perhaps there are dodgy owners out there who will think it’s worth cheating the TripAdvisor system – one of the major flaws being that it’s impossible for TripAdvisor to tell a well constructed fake from a genuine review.

EDIT: The  downloadable pdf file from the site describes both TA’s review checking system and its ranking algorithm largely as  I understand TA to work, so I believe what they claim to be able to do is possible.  That DOES NOT mean I approve of what’s being proposed.

See “comments” for more discussion.

UPDATE: As of 20th October 2010 both sites have been taken down.  Thanks to Mathew (see comments) for that information.


6 responses to “TripAdvisor – Pay Per Review

  1. It appears both sites have been taken down

  2. I think the people offering this ‘service’ know a) how desperate some owners will be to game the system for their advantage b) how completely reluctant TA is to remove user-gemerated-content at any cost (see my other ranting comments lol) and c) that basically, he who doesn’t spam in some way or other in this system is effectively ‘out of the game’. Internet marketing is ALL spam – it’s just a matter of degrees.

  3. I think the site(s) are more to take advantage of hotel owners. Look at all of the glaring spelling and grammatical mistakes in their pitch. The alleged ex-TA employee can’t even remember his or her own name. In one section it is signed “JC TripAdvisor ex-employee” and in another is signed “JG TA Ex Employer”. I’m surprised there’s no mention of a Nigerian prince looking to give away millions in the ad.

    • The sole purpose is to make money out of gullible (and dishonest) owners. Much as TA is deeply flawed, it can’t be right to blatantly cheat in this way as it screws up other owners. The spelling mistakes (and other mistakes) continue in the downloadable pdf that claims to expose how TA ranking works. It also contains some pretty poor diagramming that makes no sense. However, the principles it outlines for both TA’s (poor) checking system and its ranking algorithm are largely how I’ve always understood TA to work, so there is some basis for what they claim. That doesn’t mean I like what they’re proposing.

  4. Yes, it’s pricey. But more than that, it’s dishonest and I for one would avoid it like the plague.

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