Tripadvisor Restaurant ratings

Old May 26th, 2006, 08:04 AM
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Tripadvisor Restaurant ratings

Anyone here familiar with how Tripadvisor does its rank of businesses?

I just looked at Tripadvisor's main page for the state where I live. It lists a frozen custard stand as the top restaurant in the state!

It isn't bad, but it isn't even the most popular frozen custard stand in the community where it is located.

I've been to 7 of the top 10 of the list. In my opinion, only 2 of those should be in consideration. Though I wouldn't have placed either of them in the top 10.

One of the other three is a sub shop.

Keith is offline  
Old May 26th, 2006, 09:01 AM
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Forget about rankings. It's a popularity contest. The reviews themselves (for hotels) are reasonably accurate but the relative comparisons are generally not.
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Old May 26th, 2006, 10:02 AM
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I don't put much credence in the hotel reviews either. We were recently burned by putting too much weight in trip advisor reviews, and later being disappointed in a B&B stay. Interestingly, the month after we stayed at the B&B we received 2 "Thank You" e-mails from the proprietors that included links to Tripadvisor and Yahoo for us to easily post something about the B&B. Probably just a good business practice, but it made me think. I've unsuscribed from the B&B's mailing list.
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Old May 26th, 2006, 10:21 AM
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Syd, I'd love it if you told me the name of that property. If you don't post it here, send it to me at this name at
I follow the reviews on there in towns and in places I enjoy and have noticed a few weird things. There's a B&B in Healdsburg that gets great reviews and each time a positive review is posted, there are between 20-50 people who rate it "helpful" no matter how vague the review is. Then, when somebody writes a positive review on one of the competing properties, suddenly there are 20 people who find the review "not helpful". Hmm, what's that about? That's just one example of fishy sounding things. I've also been sent links to review sites from private Inns, so be aware. I alsways put my email on reviews to let people know that i wrote it and they can email me with questions. I suggest doing that whenever you're considering a property.
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Old May 26th, 2006, 10:29 AM
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From experience with posting on TripAdvisor, I have to say that although I rated my favorite hotel..I know others review and rate hotels that are now closed, give them high ratings because they go there, not because they are good and some hotels contact guests asking for good reviews.
I would rely on opinions here on Fodors before trusting TA.
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Old May 26th, 2006, 10:33 AM
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I'd never rely on those kind of sites to help pick a restaurant-use chowhound or egullet. Citysearch (at least the Citysearch Seattle site) is another awful one where really bad restaurants are inexplicably voted the best. I'm convinced that restaurant staff sends in tons of great reviews to get their place on top.
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Old May 26th, 2006, 10:46 AM
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If a hotel has lots of reviews, you can usually count on trip advisor to be helpful. Even if the hotel has glowing reviews, the few negatives are a tip off that at least some of the glowing positives may be questionable.

Restaurants aren't as objective in my opinion. There are restaurants that I love and friends of mine can't stand them. I would imagine that most good restaurants would get very mixed reviews.
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Old May 26th, 2006, 11:16 AM
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I find it is best to use TripAdvisor reviews as ONE source of information in conjuction with other sources.

For instance, if I find a hotel recommended in a guidebook, I check TripAdvisor reviews for the hotel, partly because TripAdvisor reviews are usually more current than reviews in guidebooks.

When I find that TripAdvisor members have had unpleasant experiences at a hotel recommended by a guidebook, I avoid that hotel.

I have been burned by relying solely on glowing TripAdvisor reviews, and I won't do it again.
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Old May 26th, 2006, 05:17 PM
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Tripadvisor is not really meant for restaurants - since so much of it is objective - and who know if the reviews expect the same thing in a meal you do.

It works somewhat better for hotels - since room size, clenliness, amenities etc are less subjective (although you still have to do a lot of reading between the lines). I use it more to eliminate unacceptable options than to make a final choice.
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Old May 26th, 2006, 05:26 PM
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Then you have to learn the "language" of reviews..
One poster that comes to mind, says food is "yummy" when it is good, a nice hotel, 4* maybe, is "swank" and when the service is not up to this persons standards, they are "snooty" .. If a suitable criticism is unavailable, the phrase " a bit much" covers it all.

I have been to places that have stunned me with their beauty and then read someones review that it was dull.
So as we all say- TA is good for ONE of your sources, never depend on it alone.
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