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Show credibility score for the reviewer

United States
Level Contributor
187 posts
26 reviews
Show credibility score for the reviewer

Display a credibility score for the reviewer based on an algorithm when they joined, how many reviews they have done, and the last time they logged in. Too many suspicious reviews by people joining for one day, raving about a hotel or tour operator, and never to be seen again. The score should take these factors into account to alert your users of these yahoos. If a reviewer joins and posts once, the value of that review should diminish over time. The reviewer is not adding to the community and the suspiciousness of their review should increase. If a user is active seasonally (like winters only because that's when they travel), the algorithm should not decrease their reliability/credibility rating. Also show if the user is active (like has logged in the last 30-60 days). Although this system might not be perfect, it will be better then my current system of weeding through the fakes.

For example, I was suspicious on a tour operator once. They had a ton of 5 of 5 "one hit wonders" and people were talking about being in the port for the day on a cruise. None of the reviewers had any other reviews for other ports/ islands they visited. Google search found little outside of TA. I was very suspicious of the reviews...how can all 100 people give it 5/5. No one had an off day? I went with another company and asked the owner about this other tour operator who was a competitor...he said he never even heard of them. Somethings seemed fishy there..which is appropriate for the type of tour.

A simpler implementation would be to highlight reviews from people who posted more than 5 or 10 over a period of time. This would decrease the effectiveness of fudging the system. If not already, the scoring should weigh active TA member reviews higher then the "one post wonders".

Another benefit to this is you will encourage people to review and post more (just as forums do the same thing with assigning levels to number of posts.)

London, United...
Level Contributor
1,757 posts
13 reviews
1. Re: Show credibility score for the reviewer

Hey TA.

Read this.

It will work.

Take the above idea and change it a little.

I want a free "do follow" link for six months if you use this as you would be daft not to.

1. Build a "damping factor" into the reviewer not the review.

2. This new review from somone who has just joined could be set to say just 10% initally so IT WILL HAVE LITTLE EFFECT ON THE HOTELS OVERALL RANK

3. As the reviewer contibutes more and "behaves" and prooves they are not a spammer the code will automatically reduce the damping factor all the way several years later up to 100%. SO the review will have more of an effect on the "bigger picture" and the ranking of the hotel.

e.g

Fred joins really really awful review for a hotels.

This has little effect on the hotels rank. 10 of what it should.

3 months later he has left 100 forum posts.

His review is up to 40% strength

a Year later he has another review and 300 forum posts.

He is now up to 100% strength from his trusted account.

Easy

United States
Level Contributor
187 posts
26 reviews
2. Re: Show credibility score for the reviewer

I mentioned your concept here but did not go into detail..

If not already, the scoring should weigh active TA member reviews higher then the "one post wonders".

I know the reviews state the number of contributions so why not add a sort to sort by contribution level. This would help push the one review people to the bottom. Even better, allow multiple sorts. I could sort by contribution level and date (both ascending).

Also, add next to the contribution level in the review the average and mode score of their reviews. People are at extremes as some give 1's to everything and are hard to please (they did not have 2% milk...only skim, 1%, and whole) while others give 5's to everything ("OMG, THIS BUFFET WAS THE BEST FOOD I EVER HAD..."

This will help me filter these people.

United States
Level Contributor
187 posts
26 reviews
3. Re: Show credibility score for the reviewer

I meant to say:

"I could sort by contribution level and date (both descending)."

An edit of the posts for a few minutes would be nice...if not already suggested..

London, United...
Level Contributor
1,757 posts
13 reviews
4. Re: Show credibility score for the reviewer

Honest answer, I think that would be clumsy.

It would detract from the site too much.

Better to keep it simple and change small things at a time, or trafic would probally drop.

The site is slow enough as it is and the database would be doing way too much work.

United States
Level Contributor
187 posts
26 reviews
5. Re: Show credibility score for the reviewer

I would assume the calculations would done in a separate process and not on the fly to limit db performance.

They are already calculating review scores already. They only need to recalculate a reviewers average when TA approves a new review.

London, United...
Level Contributor
1,757 posts
13 reviews
6. Re: Show credibility score for the reviewer

Both methods would work.

Personally if it was one of my sites I prefer a bolt on so I would have a back end admin unit so that I could tweak things, and add / remove extra characteristics of the reviewer.

Also by doing this as a bolt on rather than as true data this data would not have to be php asp etc and run quicker.

The value of this site would increase since it would be easier to feed this data to other websites, travel agents etc.

TUI would buy the site in other words.

Factors such as

account age

forum posts

outbound links

ip address

photos

key words

videos

sms activation

sms vectoring that looks for clusters of activations

Additional add ons to the bolt on being deeper customer profiles such as age, income, social profiling.... the advantage being fed websites would be easier to custom search to your preferences.

Ridgeway, Virginia
Level Contributor
382 posts
193 reviews
7. Re: Show credibility score for the reviewer

This is as excellent idea. I mean it's really, really good. I'm just saying so that the TA staff who reads this string knows that this is super. Consider this a vote.

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
30,273 posts
93 reviews
8. Re: Show credibility score for the reviewer

I have a B&B which has some reviews from guests who never review or post further. I know they are genuine in their appraciation for my B&B and I don't see why they, or my B&B, should be penalised because they don't contribute further.

If an accommodation or an activity goes to so much trouble planting false reviews it wouldn't take them long to return monthly to post whaffle just to have their status upgraded.

No matter what steps TA takes there will always be those who try to play the system. All reviews should be read with caution imo, not just from one-hit wonders.

Ridgeway, Virginia
Level Contributor
382 posts
193 reviews
9. Re: Show credibility score for the reviewer

You have a good point. I hadn't thought of that.

London, United...
Level Contributor
1,757 posts
13 reviews
10. Re: Show credibility score for the reviewer

But what we have been talking about is actually going to shield you from a false review?

Just suppose a customer or a competitor tried to affect your ranking?

Dont you see any value in being shielded from this?

Review fraud is a problem and it needs to be addressed.

IMAO I dont know you, and you dont know me. I have no idea whether as a hotelier you left those reviews or not yourself. I dont care really.

The same is true for every establishment on here.

The same is true for every review on here. Some are real, some are fake.

The number of fake review good and bad are growing and only a fool would avert their eyes to the problem.

People follow patterns. A pattern is the only post verification solution in to automatically tell if the review is real or not, without wading through 20 million reviews.

Its fine to quote three examples from your B and B, but when you are talking 20 million reviews and a site probally worth 20 - 30 UK Mill. You have to think like this.