Google Beats TripAdvisor Block on Reviews

Has Google Beaten TripAdvisor Embargo on Reviews?

I recently remarked that Google Places/Maps results were once more showing TripAdvisor Reviews in full, and as far as I’ve been able to ascertain that continues to be the case (owners/managers – check your property and let me know if yours doesn’t!).

Kevin at TNooz took this up and asked TripAdvisor if they’d changed their policy towards Places; a TA spokesperson insisted that the block on streaming reviews remains in place (no pun intended!).  They are sticking by what they said in December 2010, that the restriction continues and TripAdvisor does not believe users “benefit with the experience of selecting the right hotel” if Google Places streams its reviews.  TripAdvisor is in “constant discussions with Google”, according to the same source.

However, searches on Google Maps/Places today prove that TripAdvisor reviews appear on critical on Google Places results, such as ‘london hotels’ and ‘paris hotels’, which suggests that the block on streaming has more holes in it than a sieve.

TA Reviews still on Google Places – January 14th 2011

At this stage in the game it seems that Google has found a new way around the TripAdvisor embargo, and TripAdvisor has not yet found an effective defence.

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5 responses to “Google Beats TripAdvisor Block on Reviews

  1. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can ‘help’ google find and ‘scrape’ our TripAdvisor reviews? See my comment in your “Not Fair” blog post. It may not be affecting some but the ‘ban’ and random nature of the situation is crippling our business.

    • You can’t do anything to get the reviews back except sit tight – as long as the business name & address are the same on both TA and Google Places then there’s every chance that they’ll reappear eventually. The same has happened to me and to many other owners – mine reappeared after a couple of months. As you can’t do anything about it, it’s best to try to forget it and get on with things that you CAN influence, like website optimisation and customer service.

  2. Pingback: Reviews Tug-of-War – Does it Matter? | TripAdvisorWatch: Travel Review Sites in Focus

  3. Phil

    Not that it bothers me but it seems strange we had 50+ reviews on Google Places last week all of a sudden the Trip Advisor reviews have gone leaving us with 7 on “Places”.

    Do you know if there is a pattern?

    • There isn’t any pattern, but in the reviews tug-of-war TripAdvisor seems to have regaining the upper hand for the moment. I checked my benchmark ‘France hotels’ and ‘London hotels’ searches on Google Places/Maps and the TA reviews have largely gone again.

      There are plenty of individual exceptions, proving once again that the ban isn’t total and that Google hasn’t given up the fight.

      Our own listing is still showing TA reviews on Places – but that could change again tomorrow, as could your own position, until the pair of them come to some sort of agreement or someone throws in the towel.

      Some owners are not that bothered whether there are TA reviews on Places or not, but some potential customers may be drawn to a hotel with lots of reviews showing, so the current TA review lottery can’t be ignored completely.

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