Back in November Google reported that the change in Google Search Results is GREAT news for lodging businesses because it emphasizes the business’s website over the giant lodging directory.
This good news would be bad news for those giant directories like VRBO.com or TripAdvisor.
As a followup, in December, TripAdvisor acknowledged that its traffic from Google dropped by more than 10% since Google made the changes to its search results that emphasized the Google Places content. Curiously, this came on the heels of an October claim that “TripAdvisor benefits from Google’s new Place Search feature” which clearly proved to be mistaken.
We think the individual lodging websites are the ones that took that 10% back from TripAdvisor.
Meanwhile, TripAdvisor had pulled its reviews from Google Places. It used to be that TripAdvisor dominated the reviews at Google Places… now websites like Hotels.com, Yelp, Travel.Yahoo.com, Travelpost, etc. are more important for reviews.
This is probably pretty good news for most hotels and lodging operations for two reasons:
Many hotels had problems with TripAdvisor reviews and rankings and TripAdvisor DOMINATES the spots. By removing TripAdvisor reviews from Google Places, hotel operators have a bit of a clean slate.
Many hotels have been gaming TripAdvisor, but ignoring the multitude of other review spots. Now those other review locations will have a little more importance.
If you currently dominate TripAdvisor in your market… this is all BAD news!