Tag Archives: widget

Be Aware: Using TripWow Widget Boosts TripAdvisor on Google

TripWow Slideshow – Does it Wow You?

TripAdvisor launched “TripWow” recently and has been riding a wave of social media and travel blog publicity since.

On the surface, it’s a means for people to create their own slideshows and embed them in their websites. To quote from TripAdvisor:

TripWow is a widget application which allows individuals to post their traveler photos and share a slideshow of their photos with friends and family by posting it on various sites including embedding it on their own personal site or blog.

TripWow Demo

TripWow does look impressive at first sight. But in my view, once you’ve seen a couple of examples they all start to look the same due to the lack of options and the introductory graphics that take ages before showing your actual photos.

But regardless of the aesthetics and features, is this a genuine freebie without any catches? Or like a Trojan Horse, is there a nasty surprise hidden inside it?

TripWow #1

I’ll keep this short.  The terms of use for the TripWow widget forbid you from altering the widget in any way.  They begin:

TripWow is the property of TripAdvisor, and its affiliate and parent companies (“TripAdvisor”). By downloading TripWow you agree to be bound by the terms set out below (the “TripWow Terms”).

TripAdvisor’s “TripWow Terms” for the TripWow widget go on to state:

Clause 1.2 You will not cause, permit or authorize any modification of TripWow, which includes separation into component parts or creation of derivative works

The trick for TripAdvisor is that the widget contains keyword-rich hyperlinks back to the TripAdvisor website.   As you can’t remove them, this means everyone who uses the TripWow widget gives keyword juice to TripAdvisor, in the same way that TripAdvisor sucks up SEO juice from sites via its review display widgets.

So be aware – if you do use TripWow on your own site, you’re assisting TripAdvisor in its quest to top the search engine results.  If you have an interest in your own site appearing for those results, don’t use it!

TripWow #2

Finally, you should be aware that any pictures you use on TripWow can be used by TripAdvisor for its own purposes, e.g. to make up their own travel guides.  They don’t make this clear, but you automatically hand over the rights to use your pictures to TripAdvisor when you use them on a TripWow show.  TripAdvisor terms of service include this clause:

You grant TripAdvisor and its affiliates a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, transferable, irrevocable and fully sub-licensable right to (a) use, reproduce, modify, adapt, translate, distribute, publish, create derivative works from and publicly display and perform such Submissions throughout the world in any media, now known or hereafter devised.

Be aware!

Related articles:

Should Hotels Use TripAdvisor Widgets

TripWow could use a little more “Trip” and a little less “Wow”

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TripAdvisor Widgets

Should Hotels Use TripAdvisor Widgets?

Lets imagine you’re a hotel owner and your hotel is pretty damn hot on TripAdvisor.  “Hell,” you say to yourself “We’re flying here – how can we use this to our advantage?”

Whoopee! A neat widget for my website! What's the catch?

Those nice people at TripAdvisor have a suggestion – use one of their widgets.  These little cuties are bits of code that you integrate into your hotel website to show just how wonderful folks think you are on TripAdvisor.

Great!  But hang on a minute – you rarely get something for nothing in this world, and the guys at TripAdvisor aren’t mugs when it comes to marketing themselves.  So what is the catch here?

First snag is, TripAdvisor widgets include a whole bunch of text links to TripAdvisor. How does this help TripAdvisor or harm you? Because it provides them with inbound keyword links using your hotel name, increasing the chances that TripAdvisor will rank highly for search results for your hotel.  So by using a TripAdvisor widget on your site you’re boosting TripAdvisor in the search engines, and possibly harming your own site’s rankings.

This lunch definitely ISN'T free!

Second snag is, once someone leaves your site through that link, they will be hit with a bunch of TripAdvisor ads pushing your competitors.  By sending them to your TripAdvisor page, you might easily lose a booking.

Worst TA Widget

The third snag applies to the widget that shows snippets of actual reviews.

Not only does this one give TripAdvisor link juice, but it also displays content over which you have no control.

If you have a great listing on TripAdvisor and want to use it to your advantage, think hard before using a widget.  You might decide to go ahead anyway, but it’s best to be aware of what the widget is REALLY for – to promote TripAdvisor.

Be creative – there are ways of capitalising on a high TA ranking without shooting yourself in the foot.

EDIT 3 Sept 2010

Sorry I didn’t spell out how to use TA reviews without a widget – it doesn’t have to be that clever,  in fact you could just copy them. Here’s an example: http://www.normandie-chambres.fr/ – the side column contains some TA reviews but no link to TA and the site owner has total control over the content. A number of other sites do the same or similar and the average site visitor does not know or care whether the reviews on display come via a TA widget.

Related Articles:

Why Hotels Should Stop Using TripAdvisor’s Rating Widget

The TripAdvisor Review Widget on the Hotel Website: a Good or Bad Move?