How The TripAdvisor Algorithm Works and How To Boost Your Ranking

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Posted on Jun 14th 2018

No hotelier really needs to be reminded of the essential role reviews play in the holiday shopping process. But just in case you do, the latest stats show that a massive 95% of guests browse the opinions of other travellers before booking a trip, with TripAdvisor still reigning supreme as the first port of call for most consumers with an average of 455 million users each month.

But do you truly understand how TripAdvisor ranks and serves up the properties it lists? In today’s blog, we’ll take a closer look at how the website’s current algorithm works and what you can do to help your property climb the rankings and get noticed by more of your guests planning their breaks online.

How Does TripAdvisor Rank Hotels?

Following an update in 2016, the TripAdvisor algorithm ranks properties in its listings based on the quality, quantity and recentness of reviews.


The impact of TripAdvisor’s 1-5 bubble rating system on your ranking is pretty simple and just as you would expect: higher ratings translates to a higher overall ranking in the site’s hotel listings. Your bubble rating is also crucial because it gives travel shoppers an immediate snapshot of what other guests think of the quality of your property.


For travellers weighing up where to stay for their next holiday or weekend away, it’s important to know what your hotel is like today not four years ago.

With this in mind, TripAdvisor’s algorithm favours properties with more up to date reviews over those with older ones. That way, the reviews and ratings guests read are more likely to offer an accurate representation of the kind of experience you offer.


It’s obvious: multiple, consistently positive feedback is a better indicator of quality than just a handful of good reviews. The more glowing reviews you have, the more confident travellers will feel booking with you.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that having a greater volume of reviews than your main competitor guarantees a higher ranking. In fact, TripAdvisor has stated that hotels only need “enough reviews to provide statistical significance”, but remains tight lipped about exactly what this cut-off point is. Furthermore, since the site’s most recent 2018 algorithm update, your hotel will secure a better ranking even than those competitors with a similar amount of positive and negative reviews, providing your reviews are more recent.

How To Improve Your TripAdvisor Ranking

Encourage a constant stream of reviews

Keeping in mind that TripAdvisor values a consistent flow of positive reviews; your goal is to constantly attract a steady stream of feedback that inspires confidence in travellers looking to make a booking.

There are plenty of ways to prompt a review, from politely reminding guests during check-out, to leaving reminder cards in your guest rooms and most importantly, giving a gentle nudge in your post-email content. Don’t forget to add a TripAdvisor link within your emails to make the process as easy as possible.

Keep your hotel’s profile up to date

Does your amenities list and property description accurately represent the experience you offer current guests? Are your photos up to date?

If there are any inconsistencies between your property’s online reputation and the reality of what you offer, you’ve got a recipe for a slew of negative feedback.

So, keep your profile up to date, check your facilities list and pay particular attention to the photos you include, particularly if you’ve switched up your rooms recently or undergone a refurbishment.

Monitor and manage negative feedback

No matter how hard you strive to provide the best possible experience for everyone who stays at your hotel, some disgruntled travellers inevitably slip through the net.

The only way to handle complaints and uncomplimentary feedback is to acknowledge and respond promptly and courteously, taking time to thank the guest for their feedback and to empathise with their complaint. Where necessary, offer to resolve the issue privately over email or phone call – and certainly away from the eyes of other travel shoppers

Monitoring and responding to feedback like this may not impact your overall ranking on the site, but it does demonstrate loud and clear to your audience that you value the opinions of your customers. In fact, TripAdvisor stats reveal that 85% of its users say a considerate response to a negative review leaves them with a more positive impression of the business in question.

Apart from continuing to offer the best level of service to your guests at all times, taking steps to keep your TripAdvisor listings up to date, while encouraging a review from every guest that stays with you and managing negative feedback will help you climb the rankings on the internet’s most influential travel review site.

What are you doing to climb the TripAdvisor rankings? Let us know in the comments below!


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