Tag Archives: disappearing reviews

TripAdvisor removes “murder” reviews

TripAdvisor Removes Legends “Murder” Reviews

TripAdvisor has removed at least 10 recent reviews about Legends, the five-star Mauritius resort where Michaela McAreavey was killed when she disturbed intruders in her room in early January.

Three members of Legends hotel staff have been arrested in connection with the killing and charged with her murder.

TripAdvisor has since taken down about a dozen reviews  which warned tourists to stay away from Legends because of the murder.  At time of writing, one review posted in support of the hotel which also refers to the murder obliquely has been allowed to remain.

The reviews that were posted then removed

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Legends room attendant Avinash Treebhoowoon, 29, and floor supervisor Sandip Moneea, 41, are accused of murdering the Irish language teacher, who was on honeymoon at the time.  Raj Theekoy, a 33-year-old room attendant, is charged with conspiracy to murder.  A stolen hotel room master key card was found in among the possessions of  Sandip Mooneea.


TripAdvisor Reviews Are NOT Back!

TripAdvisor Reviews Are NOT All Back on Google Places!

SEO and Internet marketing commentators are suggesting that TripAdvisor reviews are back on Google Places and in general SERPS, and that this signals an end to the dispute between the two parties. 

However, this is NOT generally the case.  As I pointed out as far back as December 7th, days before these reports of “Google Reviews Returning” broke cover, some TripAdvisor reviews have persisted throughout the dispute, indicating that TA’s attempted block has never been 100% effective – Google has continued to scrape a number of reviews throughout. 

What has changed, is that more hotels/B&Bs have noticed a return of some of their reviews in Google Places results, perhaps indicating that Google is finding a partial work-around. 

But a search of “london hotels” shows that most have no TripAdvisor reviews on Google Places – only two out of the top ten at this time have any TA reviews on Places.

TripAdvisor Reviews have NOT returned

The same applies if you search for “Paris hotels” on Google Places France.  Only two out of the top ten Places listings for Paris hotels are showing any TripAdvisor reviews.

Paris Hotels - Only 2 have TA Reviews on Places


Until both parties announce a resolution and until there is a more general return of TripAdvisor reviews to Google Places, it seems hasty to conclude from this conflicting evidence that the dispute is over.

TripAdvisor and the Disappearing Reviews

TripAdvisor Finally Admits “Disappearing Reviews Are Our Fault”

For months – going back to early spring this year – the TripAdvisor Owners Forum has been groaning under the weight of complaints from owners whose perfectly good reviews have been disappearing from their listings. Here’s a small sample:

TripAdvisor Reviews Disappearing

For an equally long time TripAdvisor has either been ignoring these complaints or, when they have bothered to reply, fobbing the owners off with a standard response saying that they can’t discuss reasons for reviews being removed:

Standard "Response" from TripAdvisor

For months on end these same excuses were trotted out, much to the owners’ frustration and anger.  Heated discussions abounded on the subject.

The volume of complaints grew to such an extent that a “sticky” was added to the top of the Owners Forum, and whenever someone raised the issue they were referred to it – it has since been removed but here’s the gist:

Q. Why was the “sticky”, effectively telling Owners to “go away and stop bothering us”,  removed?

A. Because finally, months on and after the disappearance of countless good reviews, TripAdvisor has come clean and admitted that it has been erroneously removing perfectly good reviews from its site.

Apparently it was “due to a bug”.

Oops - we've cocked up!

Massive Cock-Up Admitted

To give some idea of the scale of the problem, they are still working on trying to replace all the reviews they have wrongly deleted – three weeks after they admitted the problem (August 25th).

As of 13th September, TripAdvisor staff say it will take some time yet for the erroneously deleted reviews to be reinstated.  TA also says there is no guarantee that ALL missing reviews will reappear – if some don’t they are covering their backsides by saying  it’ll be because ‘they’ve been removed for other reasons’.

If you’re an owner whose perfectly good, genuine reviews fail to reappear you’ll never know whether it’s because the retrieval exercise has failed, or because TA deliberately removed your reviews, as it is TA policy never to discuss the reasons for reviews being removed.

I would be interested to know exactly how many reviews have been wiped out by TA’s “bug” but I doubt if TripAdvisor knows for sure (otherwise it would not be taking so long to try to sort the problem out), and it’s unlikely that they would tell us even if they did.  Given the hundreds of owner posts on the subject, and the likelihood that most owners would not notice some reviews disappearing, there are probably thousands affected.

Marvellous.  SNAFU, as they said in WW2.