Insights into Suspicious Online Ratings: Direct Evidence from TripAdvisor

Markus Rolf Schuckert, Xianwei Liu, Chun Hung Roberts Law

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)


Online ratings and online reputation management are becoming increasingly popular and important. With this increasing importance, attempts to manipulate online reviews through fake reviews have become more prevalent. Suspicious online reviews (ratings) exist on many e-commerce platforms, but these reviews have rarely been observed and reported as manipulation in academic studies using different test methods. In our research, we examine empirical evidence of suspicious online ratings based on 41,572 ratings on TripAdvisor. Applying quantitative analytics, we find three important results: (1) the gap between overall rating and individual ratings does exist and is significant, especially among the lower class hotels; (2) the proportion of suspicious ratings is about 20% at a standard of 0.5; and (3) reviewers who tend to post excellent ratings are less likely to generate big gaps when posting ratings. We offer specific managerial implications for hotel managers on online reputation management and selected suggestions for future research based on the empirical findings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-272
Number of pages14
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2016


  • reputation management
  • social media
  • suspicious ratings
  • TripAdvisor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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