And the winner is… TrustYou reveals top performing review sources

Guest feedback, online reputation management, and hotel ratings mean nothing without reviews. TrustYou collects and analyzes reviews from the most sources on a global scale in order to showcase the true performance level of your hotel. We took a closer look at the feedback housed in our database from 2018 to unveil which are the top performing review sources that play important roles on a global level but also from a regional perspective.

Review Sources Infographic

Google and Expedia grow, Facebook and TripAdvisor decrease

Let’s look at the top review sources that achieved the highest growth in one year (2017 to 2018) on a global level:

As we all know, Google is putting in a lot of effort to create the best possible experience for travelers when they are searching for accommodations online and reviews are a large part of it. Did you know that TrustYou is providing review summaries to Google? This helps the search engine deliver the best possible overview to travelers, by enriching hotel content. Google also actively encouraging users to leave reviews about the places they have visited, however, TrustYou surveys make it easier for travelers to publish their reviews directly on Google. Therefore, it does not come as a surprise that in 2018, Google ranked first in growth for top performing review sources and showed the highest increase in the number of reviews with an impressive plus of 93.37% compared to 2017. 

Also, Expedia experienced a very successful year in 2018 and reported double-digit growth in bookings and revenue for the full year compared to 2017. Our review analysis supports this growth by seeing a whopping +63.45% increase in review volume on a global level. 

With the success of its big sister Expedia, Hotels.com’s review count grew in 2018 compared to 2017 and put the online travel agent (OTA) in third place of the TrustYou sources with the highest increase. Hotels.com was one of the main contributors to Expedia’s overall success in 2018. Hotels.com uses TrustYou to help power their review summaries, ensuring that the reviews are well understood and accessible to travelers. 

On the other hand, TrustYou noticed some decreases in review volume for big players such as Facebook and TripAdvisor. Facebook’s drastic decrease (-69.42%) can be traced back to their change of “reviews” to “recommendations,” which means that there aren’t scores and full-text reviews about hotels on the social network anymore. 

TripAdvisor reviews saw a decrease of -10.62%. With so many other great possibilities for guests to leave reviews, it’s getting more difficult for the popular review source to stay on top in the review business. TripAdvisor helped shape the online reputation industry into what it is today, however with advancements in review possibilities, going to another website might seem like a lot of extra effort to travelers when a review has already been submitted elsewhere. TripAdvisor recognized this trend and has perhaps diversified its business and reported to see major growth in areas like experiences and restaurants

Booking.com the world’s largest review source while the hotels’ own guest satisfaction surveys gain further significance 

When looking at the percentage distribution of review sources with regards to numbers of reviews on a global level, there is a clear winner: Booking.com. As the clear leader of the board, the popular OTA covers 31.90% of all reviews. Even though the increase in reviews (+11.85%) isn’t as large as Google’s, the online travel agency has claimed the top spot for review volume in 2018. Booking Holdings, to which Booking.com belongs, also looks back on a financially successful year 2018 with a +14% in gross bookings for the whole group. 

Google is quickly approaching Booking.com’s tail in terms of review volume. Overall on a global level, Google.com comes second, providing 24.21% of all reviews. Combining the biggest growth with an impressive second place in review volume, Google can certainly be crowned the review source winner of 2018. 

The third place in terms of quantity of reviews is particularly noteworthy as it’s generated by you, the hoteliers! Our own guest satisfaction survey, the TrustYou Survey, covered 22.54% of all reviews collected, just a bit less than Google reviews. We are very excited to contribute to review volume with our solution and are happy that so many hotels are collecting their own reviews with TrustYou. If you want to learn more about top performing review sources, schedule a demo with our experts or read this guide with the Do’s and Don’t of Guest Surveys to read the best tips we’ve got.

Katharina Heitmann

Katharina loves the tourism and hospitality industry. In the past decade, she has done it all - from graduate studies, working at Disneyland, and climbing the hotel ladder, to marketing, PR, and communications. At TrustYou, her goal is to show how ORM and review marketing lead to a hotel’s success.

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