Another reason not to get a TA business listing

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Silverspoon's picture
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A bit of history...a few years ago we anted up for a business listing with TA.  After looking at our stats for referrals we had our doubts that it was worth the $$ because our market tends to find us first and then check our reviews, so we didn't get many reservations from the listing.  But the thing that put us over the edge and made us pull our business listing was that TA reordered their listings so that anyone searching for a B+B in our town had to wade through all of the hotel/motel listings before they got to us.  All B+Bs came AFTER a LONG list of motels and hotels.  So even though we were #1 in our town in the B+B listings, the searcher would have to scroll way down the page, past the worst of the motels to find us.

Still...we maintained our #1 position in the B+B category for our town because we maintained our reviews.  At least when someone searched for a B+B in our town and we were listed first no the the list of B+Bs.  But hmmmm, just took at look at TA to see that, although we are still listed as #1 B+B in our town, we are listed AFTER the #2 and #3 B+Bs who both have listings with booking engines  like X pedia and Ho tels.com.  Now when someone searches they see a list where the B+Bs are automatically ordered based on "Availability" not on ranking.  There is a new search box with pull down menu that allows the searcher to see results based on ranking,  but it is no longer automatic.  

Sooooo, for a small fry like us, who does not subscribe to Bo oking.com or Or bits.com, it REALLY does not pay to have a TA business listing.  If we were bigger, or trying to build our business, instead of just maintain what we have developed over the past 25 years, I might be tempted to sign up for one of the booking sites.  But now?  nope 

Some of you, who do use booking engines might get a boost in the order of your listing from this new "Availability" re-ordering at TA.  Take a look.

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Arks's picture
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Say what you will, in this "who knows" world, when I'm looking for a good place, I skip the reviews from people who have only reviewed that one place, and next time you're looking for yourself you should do the same.

Too many of those are only doing it because they were asked to, and because they know the proprietor will know it's their review. People who make just the one review are suspect, and I'll not rely on them when making an important selection. I'll bet I'm not alone.

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Arks wrote:

Say what you will, in this "who knows" world, when I'm looking for a good place, I skip the reviews from people who have only reviewed that one place, and next time you're looking for yourself you should do the same.

Too many of those are only doing it because they were asked to, and because they know the proprietor will know it's their review. People who make just the one review are suspect, and I'll not rely on them when making an important selection. I'll bet I'm not alone.

I think your point is that you prefer the viewpoint of a seasoned traveler. I concur. But don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.  

Lodging reviews may be different to say restaurants in this aspect anyway.

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Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

Comment not worth a new thread so I'm posting it here. I'm currently vacationing and using TA to find where to eat in little towns. I see that a lot of the ones rated #1 in town have many reviews posted by people who have only made that one review. So I'm learning to only read the reviews by people who have posted 5 or more reviews so I'm more likely to get the legit ones.

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Arks wrote:

Comment not worth a new thread so I'm posting it here. I'm currently vacationing and using TA to find where to eat in little towns. I see that a lot of the ones rated #1 in town have many reviews posted by people who have only made that one review. So I'm learning to only read the reviews by people who have posted 5 or more reviews so I'm more likely to get the legit ones.

Well Arks...who knows the one review may be most true one out there!

We have had many onesies here, right now we have a mother-daughter who are doing more from what I share than any other guests. The dad bought the room for them to getaway, they have never been to our state. Today they are doing ten more things they have never done, the daughter is in college and blogs and asked my permission to add photos of our place...they were totally non B&B people and are amazing.

If they wrote a review, I would take anything and everything they wrote over 100 other reviews! Each place they have been they have told the proprietor they are staying here. 

Of course there is just no way to know any of this from a review. Smiling HAVE FUN, have your coffee and watch a sunrise for me.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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Arks wrote:

Comment not worth a new thread so I'm posting it here. I'm currently vacationing and using TA to find where to eat in little towns. I see that a lot of the ones rated #1 in town have many reviews posted by people who have only made that one review. So I'm learning to only read the reviews by people who have posted 5 or more reviews so I'm more likely to get the legit ones.

But do those folks with only 1 review comment differently than the 5 or more reviewers? At least for lodging, we tend to get more of the 1 reviewers because of our personal contact and request for reviews. It's not necessarily a negative.

Silverspoon's picture
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Ditto,  since we rarely get business that starts with trip advisor, many of our guests do not have a TA account.  So when we request a review, it may very well be the first time they have actually written something for the site.  Which is not to say that our guests do not consult the site for reviews...they do. But they are not active participants in the reviewing process before we request that they activate an account.

There is little or no difference between our first-time-reviewers and those who have 10-20 reviews under their belts.

Aussie Innkeeper's picture
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01/16/2010

The thing that really irks me about the TA business listing is that there appears to be no consistency, rhyme or reason to what the thing costs. Every time I talk to someone or see a discussion about this, properties are being quoted outrageous amounts ($1100 for a 4-room B&B?!) and I've never paid that much.

Another thing that concerns me is that they seem almost impossible to get in touch with AND they want your cc on file so they can 'auto' renew. Yes, I have a business listing, but in our area, TA is highly competitive. 

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OnTheShore's picture
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08/28/2011

As I understand it, TA's business listing tariff depends on the the amount of web traffic that they get for your destination and/or for your listing page, as well as the amount of competition among accommodation providers in your area. The size of the property might be is a factor as well, not sure about that.

ETA: from TA -- BL prices "tiered according to the number of rooms and location of your property." (my added comment: location having to do with the amount of web traffic they get and the amount of competition... so what I am not sure about is what the tiers are for numbers of rooms 3 rooms vs. 10 might be in the same tier....)

ETA: Aussie, when is your BL up for renewal? Reports I've heard in other venues are of rate increases of from 30% to 100%!

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10/24/2012

I agree it seems awful and like they are really squeezing us, but on the other hand, I will give TA credit for developing and curating a popular review website that is now very well trusted by the travelling community. Now they placing advertisements on TV.

We have a business listing and now we have jumped on the tripconnect bandwagon so that we get our rates shown instead of that ugly disclaimer that says our rates are not available.

My opinion is the TA provides a very valuable service overall and we are seeing a very positive return on our investment with them. It is all a game. As long as I feel we seeing a positive ROI, I'll keep playing. We are essentially hiring them to help us build our reputation and trust with our customer base. Publishing reviews and testimonials from our own customers on our website just doesn't carry the same weight as the service they provide.

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How is the tripconnect working for you? We are in very large city and non of our competition is using it-wondering how expensive is it?

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The price you pay per click will depend on your market. Most of our competitors are not using it either, yet, and our CPC is 25 cents. I don't think it's been clicked even once BUT we did notice that our ranking in TripAdvisor jumped right up to the top when sorted by availability because now TA places properties that they can determine have availability via OTAs or TripConnect above all properties who do not participate in those programs.

Keep in mind a customer doesn't necessarily click on the TripConnect link on your TA listing. They can still just visit your website directly or click the link to your website. The TripConnect link takes them directly to your booking engine (rezovation in our case).

Silverspoon's picture
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Sugaholler wrote:

The price you pay per click will depend on your market. Most of our competitors are not using it either, yet, and our CPC is 25 cents. I don't think it's been clicked even once BUT we did notice that our ranking in TripAdvisor jumped right up to the top when sorted by availability because now TA places properties that they can determine have availability via OTAs or TripConnect above all properties who do not participate in those programs.

Keep in mind a customer doesn't necessarily click on the TripConnect link on your TA listing. They can still just visit your website directly or click the link to your website. The TripConnect link takes them directly to your booking engine (rezovation in our case).

Exactly....that is the point I was trying to make.  There is a new sorting mechanism based on Availability rather than popularity.

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

I checked this a few weeks ago when it was mentioned somewhere (here, somewhere else, I can't remember). It must be a slow roll out because we are still listed where we are ranked and some who are part of the GDS are listed and ranked lower than we are.

Maybe that will change when we go off booking but there is a place listed ahead of us that does not seem to have a paid TA listing.

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Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

Silverspoon wrote:

...anyone searching for a B+B in our town had to wade through all of the hotel/motel listings before they got to us.  All B+Bs came AFTER a LONG list of motels and hotels.

That's the kind of thing Jay Karen (PAII) was negotiating about with TA. He made some progress, but on the whole, they do what they want to do, and they want to do what makes them the most money. Apparently, paid B&B listing don't generate nearly as much as paid hotel services.

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11/27/2010

TA should now be considered as an OTA. They aim to earn money on each visitor.

In your case, they do not earn money from you. Instead, they are using your name and reputation to divert visitors toward listings on which they get commission.

This is just one more example of how Internet lure visitors with free listings, then, once data have been added at no cost to them, they switch to pay model. Worse with TA, you cannot close the contract, there is none!

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10/07/2008

Thanks for sharing this.

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