Expedia promises “real hotel reviews by real customers”
Just days after completing its spin-off of TripAdvisor, Expedia has announced plans to expand its own online hotel reviews. The big difference is that Expedia says all its reviews will be verified, to the extent that they will all be written by people who have stayed at the place they review.
At the same time, Stephen Kaufer TripAdvisor’s chief exec dismissed public concern over fake reviews, saying, “Based on the scale at which we operate questions of planted reviews is more of a theoretical concern than a practical concern. The scale totally dominates the equation.” Kaufer was not able to offer a percentage of how many reviews are fake.
From Barbara De Lollis at USA Today’s Hotel Check-in
If you go to Expedia.com today, you’ll find an overhauled review database that contains some 4 million reviews written by people who Expedia says paid for and stayed in the hotel they wrote about.
“We like to call it the new source of truth, internally,” says John Kim, Expedia’s senior vice president of global products.
The strategy plays off recent stories about fake reviews posted on TripAdvisor, Yelp and other sites that don’t confirm whether an author has actually stayed at a particular property – or if they had some other agenda in writing a review.
“(Customers) have been asking for a source of reviews they can trust,” Kim says, citing stories of a “black market” of fake reviews on other review sites. How widely held a belief that is, however, isn’t clear.
“This has tested off the charts in our internal testing,” he told me. “People love the idea that our reviews are verified so you can’t randomly leave a review.”
How do you write a review on Expedia.com? After you’ve booked a hotel on Expedia and stayed there, Expedia sends you an e-mail that contains a link where you sign into your account. At that point, you’ll be given the option of writing a review for that specific hotel.