Travel Today editor Steve Jones reports that TripAdvisor came under renewed attack at World Travel Market for posting out-of-date reviews and asks: why do they do it? Steve, the answer is simple: Search Engine Optimisation … catching the eye of Google, Bing etc. TripAdvisor has more than 40m reviews, separate references to various hotels, destinations and travel products. It’s a search optimisation goldmine.
Key in just about any travel search term and a TripAdvisor review will appear. And the strategy is working – comScore reported in July that TripAdvisor became the world’s most popular travel website with 35m unique visitors each month. That almost tallies with the number of reviews. Remove any of those reviews and you remove visitors, which impacts on revenue. No doubt TripAdvisor has done a risk assessment on and determined that out-of-date reviews are worth more on the site than off it.