The simple answer is that the Top Spots rankings are determined by user reviews.How we tabulate the aggregate effect of all those reviews, however, is a bit more complicated.  You see, not all reviews are equally weighted in their effect on a Spot’s overall rating.  Some have a bigger effect than others.  Those effects change over time.  They are responsive to community feedback.  In the end, there are three primary things that affect a given reviews impact on the Spot it is posted to:

  1. Review Poster’s Reputation.  Each site user builds up a mathematical “reputation” over time on the site.  The more contributions they make and the better the community responds to those contributions, the more weight their posts will have when they are made.  If you want your reviews to have a bigger impact, you need to be active in diverse ways around the site and in a manner that other site users appreciate.

  2. Community Feedback.  The TNH community of users is able to give their feedback on the review.  By responding to it positively or negatively, the impact that specific review has changes over time.  It can become a bigger factor in the Spots overall rating or if the community reacts negatively to it, it can see its influence lessened.

  3. Time.  All reviews see their impact lessened over time.  Businesses change.  Management teams or owners come and go.  Places wear down or are renovated.  Expectations from the community ebb and flow.  Accordingly, reviews made years in the past lose their relevancy.  Our system reflects this.

Add these three factors together in the manner our specially designed algorithm does and you get a system that is responsive and intuitive.  Quality contributions are rewarded and suspicious content is marginalized.

In addition, you may notice that Spots have a minimum number of reviews before they can eligible for the top positions in the Top Spots.  Those Spots who have passed the threshold have red stars, and those who have not yet got there have yellow stars.