TripAdvisor Business Listing Links

The main benefit of a Business Listing on TripAdvisor is the addition of contact details – telephone, website and email.

TripAdvisor Business Listing

TripAdvisor Business Listing

I’ve mentioned before, in passing, how the Business Listing links have no SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) value as they are written in javascript, effectively a “nofollow” as far as search engines are concerned.  Consequently, the TA Business Listing link won’t help the owner in question on search engine results.

TripAdvisor Business Link Has No SEO Value

TripAdvisor Business Link Has No SEO Value

Recently Tnooz interviewed Steve Kaufer (top dog at TripAdvisor) and posed him the obvious question regarding the Business Listing links on TripAdvisor – why the “nofollow”?

S Kaufer

S Kaufer

“We really don’t want to ever be accused by Google or anyone else of offering a service that could be construed as buying a link,” says Kaufer, sitting in a conference room at TripAdvisor headquarters in Newton, Mass.

“It’s not going to hurt anyone else’s SEO ranking,” he points out. “It just doesn’t help it. And we never ever imply if you buy a link you’ll do better in search results. It’s irrelevant.”

Steve Kaufer, TripAdvisor CEO

This is a poor defence. Owners and travellers alike have been saying for ages that ALL properties listed on TA should have proper contact details, like phone, email and a link to a website.  After all, if TripAdvisor is going to make money out of publishing reviews that feed their other business ventures, the least they can do is give the same properties a decent chance of being found by the poor sap (sorry, TripAdvisor user) who likes the look of a place and wants to contact them.

As the first Tnooz comment by Stuart said:

The whole “We’re wary of being called on paid links” defence is hogwash. Sure that is a valid concern if the link to the property is a part of their paid for business listing thing, but that is why the link should have been there from the get go as a part of a standard free listing.

The original, and still the main, purpose of “nofollow” was to prevent spammers filling blogs with links to their sites via the comments sections. Most blogs now have “nofollow” automatically to protect against this. Here’s Matt Cutts of Google on “nofollow”

More recently, Google has said it disapproves of purchased links.  But many reputable paid listings sites include regular website links and aren’t penalised.

For example, the long established site has hard links to the hotels who advertise there. See here:

The link to the hotel Tennerhof is hard AND the page carrying link has PR2 on Google, so no penalties there.  But lots of benefit for the owner of the hotel and his website – a decent link far from “irrelevant” as Kaufer claims.

On the other hand, TripAdvisor cunningly encourages accommodation owners to use its “widgets”  – without coming clean and admitting they are stuffed with valuable, keyword rich inbound links to TA.  In fact, TripAdvisor disable its so-called “free” widgets (using a javascript check) if they are altered by the addition of a “nofollow”.

Clearly, TA want other sites to link in to them so they hide keyword rich links in their widgets without telling anybody. But they aren’t happy to link out.  All this one way link traffic is good for them but bad news for the hotel/b&b owner websites they feed off.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s