Learn all about Tripadvisor's ranking algorithm, including how it is used to rank accommodations, attractions, and restaurants, and how it evolves over time.
How the ranking works
The ranking is based on the quality, how recent and the amount of feedback a business receives from users - and the consistency of these ratings over time.
The stars that users provide as part of their ratings are used to rank the quality of the experience in each business. All other things being equal, a company with more than 5 star ratings will be higher than a company with lower star ratings.
Recent reviews are more valuable than older reviews. They give a more accurate representation of the current business experience. This means that reviews - good or bad - that are older will not count as much for a business ranking as the one written more recently. Although older reviews do not have as much weight in the rankings, they are still visible in the Overview of each entry and in the business history section.
The number of reviews is a critical indicator for Tripadvisor users about a business. Tripadvisor users usually read multiple reviews to form a balanced opinion of a business and have more confidence in their decisions when viewing a wide range of reviews from other travelers.
When talking about the amount of reviews, it is important to note that a company just needs to have enough reviews to provide statistical significance and allow a comparison with other companies. A post with more reviews does not mean that it will be ranked higher than its competitors. For example, a company with 1,000 reviews will not necessarily be rated higher than one with 500 reviews received in about the same time period. This is because they both have enough reviews to make us confident about the potential travel experience they can offer.
The popularity ranking algorithm is designed to provide a statistical measure of trust in a business's current experience. As we accumulate more reviews about a business over time, we have more information about the potential experience that consumers can expect. Once we reach a satisfactory number, the algorithm is able to more accurately predict the ranking of the business.
- Good reviews are better than bad reviews
- Recent reviews carry more weight than older reviews
- More reviews help build trust faster
These factors interact over time to determine a business's popularity ranking. For example, the quality and quantity of reviews over time provides us with an insight into the consistency of each business. A company that has consistently good reviews will be higher than one with a similar number of good and bad reviews. Likewise, a large number of recent reviews will be rated higher than those that are several years old.