The following is a collection of information obtained from the internet. Reviews were collected from the public domain and are not intended to draw any conclusion of guilt or accusations of illegal or malicious intent. This is written solely as a response to online information and will hopefully allow individuals to make better more informed decisions.
Part one of this series of blogs will focus on Google reviews and OYO. Later parts will investigate how false reviews could impact a company’s fortunes as-well-as look closer at the requirements and obligations of the mom and pop motels to OYO.
I hope you enjoy and find the information useful in making your travel and overnight accommodation plans.
What is OYO?
According to OYO website, OYO Rooms is the world’s fastest-growing hotel chain, in over 800 cities with 23,000 exclusive hotels, and 330,000 exclusive rooms.
What is the value of a Google review?
To a business, online or brick and mortar, a great deal. According to vendasta.com, 92% of consumers now read online reviews. Searchenginewatch.com writes that 83% of buyers claim they don’t trust advertising. Searchengineland claims that 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from real people.
These percentages demonstrate that the consumer really trusts online reviews and will use them in decision making.
To a business the importance is SEO. SEO, search engine optimization, is a free way that businesses can get online traffic. According to rocketdigital.ca, “the quality and quantity of reviews on Google is one of the most important ranking factors for local SEO.” Podium.com describes Google Reviews as, “a big credibility boost without having to spend a dime.” The site also determines that “Google reviews have an impact on Google local search.”
Google reviews are important to a business and to the consumer.
What happens when the Google Reviews are blatantly fake?
The following will examine three locations in the United States. These non-chain hotels only link with be in their association with the OYO Rooms brand. Using fair and unbiased words an attempt will be made to demonstrate to the reader the importance of investigation into Google Reviews.
The first location, Hotel Breckenridge TX Hubbard Creek Lake.
As the screenshot shows, this small mom and pop motel has a 4.6 Google star rating. This rating was compiled from a total of 121 total reviews.
On closer investigation, one will find many discrepancies. The limitations of this blog will allow for only a small sample of the reviews.
The following review praises the location and the reviewer is happy about the proximity to the “Dolby Theatre”.
This is just one of many reviews about the wonderful Dolby Theatre and walk of fame at the Hubbard Creek.
There is not a Dolby Theatre within 150 miles or more of Breckenridge, Texas.
I especially enjoyed Brettly’s review, The best in the United States.
How about Ms. Harry’s delightful review about the tapas bars that surround the property. All due respect to the wonderful people in Breckenridge, Texas, but they probably don’t even know what a tapas bar is.
While the second review is solely the opinion of the traveler, the other reviews are blatant in the irregularities and false information.
The next location will be found using a Google account of a reviewer of the Hubbard Creek Lake. Very strange but each reviewer seems to stay at the same OYO hotels across the county and have the same experience.
Hotel Jackson North I-55
Wow, 4.8 stars based on 105 reviews! That is a great google review.
Let’s see what Ms. Harry, who happened to review Hubbard Creek Lake, has to say about Hotel Jackson North.
So Ms. Harry was pleased again with her stay. What do other online sites think about the Hotel Jackson North I-55?
Taken from TripAdvisor where nine reviews produce a one-star rating for one of Ms. Harry’s favorites.
Well, something does not add up here. Remember the 4.8 stars based on 105 Google reviews?
Ave Oliviave must have been staying at a different Jackson North to receive the following services, or perhaps the Tripadvisor travelers did not have the right connections.
Clearly, one can begin to see the pattern emerging from this information. Again, the purpose of this blog is to allow the reader to make the connections. Let’s look at another property.
The next review is from Honey Bee, a Google account that has eighteen contributions with the majority being OYO Room hotels. A mysterious coincidence is all these OYO reviews from a variety of Google accounts posted one month ago.
Let’s find out how Honey Bee’s stay was at Hotel Valdosta GA Downtown.
May 2019 Google Street view of Hotel Valdosta.
Strange that the Tripadvisor had zero reviews of the hotel.
Hotels.com did offer some reviews.
I wonder if this guest was offered the birthday card and cake like Honey Bee?
What is happening here?
The following are my own thoughts, please don’t allow them to influence.
It seems as though OYO has taken over the Google Reviews and not just exaggerated the positives of the properties but have fabricated the properties amenities and local attractions. Also, one should note that TripAdvisor seems to be taken over with the same type of reviews.
The next part of this blog will investigate the OYO business plan and how OYO is becoming the fastest growing hotel chain in the world.