This past summer when Google Places started bringing in TripAdvisor and other 3rd party reviews, it seemed like a good thing for hotels. Since Google Places was usually very close to the top of the search results for a hotel, it was a great way for hotels to get great placement, free of charge. But now TripAdvisor is telling Google to keep it’s paws off its reviews.
According to a Tnooz article, “TripAdvisor confirmed the move today in an email, stating that while it continues to evaluate recent changes to Google Places it believes the user does not benefit with the ‘experience of selecting the right hotel.'”
While many hotels benefited from the great placement that Google Pages provided, it’s interesting to read the comments on the Tnooz article because most appear to side with TripAdvisor and applaud how it has stood up to Google. However, there are a few that note that TripAdvisor isn’t the innocent ‘David’ (as in David vs. Goliath) that many others commenters portray.
While theories abound as to why TripAdvisor is protecting its content, many speculate that it all boils down to Google’s acquisition of ITA. If the acquisition is approved, Google will essentially own all travel search data. With the high placement of Google Places on the page, Google could easily control bookings, which is scary for the travel industry. Theories of your own?