Best known for its reviews and recommendations for travelers by travelers, TripAdvisor has switched gears and quickly transformed itself into a booking site. From being a place that offers travelers great, first person experience and advice to now being a place where travelers can also book their hotel straight through the TripAdvisor website. With many its hotel listings having the option to book, do we now need to rethink this “review site” and the tools they offer like widgets?
Very successful content strategy
TripAdvisor has successfully used a well thought out content strategy to grow its audience which includes widgets, content API, and partnerships. As the brand moves from a review site to a fully fledged booking and metasearch site, many websites that use TripAdvisor widgets should evaluate the implications. Potential customers move to TripAdvisor through a widget and will now probably end up making a booking on a OTA site or need to be bought back via TripConnect or Business Listings.
New competitors take note
As Skift reported, Trivago, one of the most used metasearch sites for hotels, is already taking a few swings (or maybe it’s a nudge) at its new competitor. In its latest TV advertisement Trivago questions the quality of the reviews on a “well-known travel website”. Here’s the advert:
Conflict of interests
With this new revenue model, it would make more sense for TripAdvisor to promote those listings which generate the highest revenue and no longer the ones with the best reviews. A similar approach was taken by Google that ranks its advertisements based on a combination of bid, click-through-rate and quality.
Even if TripAdvisor tries to avoid jeopardizing the integrity of its platform, using its widgets could possibly be detrimental to your bookings, and is perhaps something to consider removing from your website all together.