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Morticia

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I got this one in the mail today. It's a website that hosts your reviews so the guest can read the reviews without going off to TA or other review sites. They also have a review request you send to your guest after they leave or a printed copy you can give them at check-out like the bandb.com postcards. The intent being that your guests (and only those guests you send this to) can use the review site to write a review. They're saying the idea is to keep the guest focused on your place and not send them somewhere they may then click to book thru a booking engine like Expedia which costs you money. (That part alone sounds good.) It's setup for hotels and I'm not sure how well it would work. It's a startup so it didn't even show up in Google. guestbookhotels.com I'm not linking it, just cut and paste.
 

wendydk

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I think, in large part, that's why I decided to put the bb.com and TA review widgets on my own website. Visitors don't have to leave to read our reviews and about 80% of site visitors do go to that page.
The TA widget is a piece of $%^# though, and only works about 1/3 of the time.
 

Morticia

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I think, in large part, that's why I decided to put the bb.com and TA review widgets on my own website. Visitors don't have to leave to read our reviews and about 80% of site visitors do go to that page.
The TA widget is a piece of $%^# though, and only works about 1/3 of the time..
Does anyone leave the widget to go to TA or bandb.com?
 

wendydk

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I think, in large part, that's why I decided to put the bb.com and TA review widgets on my own website. Visitors don't have to leave to read our reviews and about 80% of site visitors do go to that page.
The TA widget is a piece of $%^# though, and only works about 1/3 of the time..
Does anyone leave the widget to go to TA or bandb.com?
.
Oh, probably about 20% of the time they click on the link that says "read all 60 reviews"......but it opens in a new browser window, so they don's exit the site altogether. I've never seen anyone go out and not come back from reading reviews, or it's not happening often enough for me to take notice.
 

JBloggs

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I think, in large part, that's why I decided to put the bb.com and TA review widgets on my own website. Visitors don't have to leave to read our reviews and about 80% of site visitors do go to that page.
The TA widget is a piece of $%^# though, and only works about 1/3 of the time..
Little Blue said:
I think, in large part, that's why I decided to put the bb.com and TA review widgets on my own website. Visitors don't have to leave to read our reviews and about 80% of site visitors do go to that page.
The TA widget is a piece of $%^# though, and only works about 1/3 of the time.
You hit it on the head right there. All these things to take guests OFF your website, I would like to warn all innkeepers - keep them ON your website, even populating new windows can be tricky. All those "link love" requests I think can hurt your bottom line. I need to reevaluate what I have on our website and stop some of those outgoing links...
 

swirt

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I think, in large part, that's why I decided to put the bb.com and TA review widgets on my own website. Visitors don't have to leave to read our reviews and about 80% of site visitors do go to that page.
The TA widget is a piece of $%^# though, and only works about 1/3 of the time..
Little Blue said:
I think, in large part, that's why I decided to put the bb.com and TA review widgets on my own website. Visitors don't have to leave to read our reviews and about 80% of site visitors do go to that page.
The TA widget is a piece of $%^# though, and only works about 1/3 of the time.
You hit it on the head right there. All these things to take guests OFF your website, I would like to warn all innkeepers - keep them ON your website, even populating new windows can be tricky. All those "link love" requests I think can hurt your bottom line. I need to reevaluate what I have on our website and stop some of those outgoing links...
.
All these things to take guests OFF your website, I would like to warn all innkeepers - keep them ON your website,
There is a caveat though. Your site is judged both by search engines and humans in terms of who you link to. Link to nothing and there is nothing for that portion of the score.
 

GBCEO

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There is a good article in HotelMarketing.com "TripAdvisor on your hotel website - good or bad?"
http://www.hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/tripadvisor_on_your_hotel_website_good_or_bad/
which is written by Hospitality eBusiness Strategies (HeBS). The author concludes:
"As per best practices, the hotel website should already feature a Guest Testimonials Page . . ."
However, reviews on a hotel's own website that are not managed by an independent company would lack credibility. This is why GuestBook provides a managed and hosted guest review service for hotels and inns. We provides hotels and inns with a webpage on guestbookreviews.com that, in effect, is an extension of their own website through a link on the hotel's website, but at the same time provides credibility because the reviews are not managed by the hotel itself. Since there are no other links on the hotel's GuestBook webpage other than to its website and reservation system, it helps the hotels retain their website visitors. We also validate that the guest has actually stayed at the hotel.
You can learn more at http://guestbookhotels.com
Yes, we are a startup, but we are having discussions with a number of major brands who have a significant interest in diminishing the influence of TripAdvisor and retaining visitors on their website (as well as helping to drive traffic to their website through local search results). At the same time we welcome any size hotels or inns to use our service which is priced accordingly, and we offer a free two-month trial.
Feel free to give me a call - contact info is at our corporate website: http://guestbookhotels.com
Alan Hollander, founder and CEO.
 

GBCEO

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I think, in large part, that's why I decided to put the bb.com and TA review widgets on my own website. Visitors don't have to leave to read our reviews and about 80% of site visitors do go to that page.
The TA widget is a piece of $%^# though, and only works about 1/3 of the time..
Little Blue said:
I think, in large part, that's why I decided to put the bb.com and TA review widgets on my own website. Visitors don't have to leave to read our reviews and about 80% of site visitors do go to that page.
The TA widget is a piece of $%^# though, and only works about 1/3 of the time.
You hit it on the head right there. All these things to take guests OFF your website, I would like to warn all innkeepers - keep them ON your website, even populating new windows can be tricky. All those "link love" requests I think can hurt your bottom line. I need to reevaluate what I have on our website and stop some of those outgoing links...
.
All these things to take guests OFF your website, I would like to warn all innkeepers - keep them ON your website,
There is a caveat though. Your site is judged both by search engines and humans in terms of who you link to. Link to nothing and there is nothing for that portion of the score.
.
I think swirt has it backwards - for SEO you want links TO your website. The links you provide to TripAdvisor by putting a widget or other link on your site, helps TripAdvisor's SEO, not yours.
 

GBCEO

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I think, in large part, that's why I decided to put the bb.com and TA review widgets on my own website. Visitors don't have to leave to read our reviews and about 80% of site visitors do go to that page.
The TA widget is a piece of $%^# though, and only works about 1/3 of the time..
Little Blue said:
I think, in large part, that's why I decided to put the bb.com and TA review widgets on my own website. Visitors don't have to leave to read our reviews and about 80% of site visitors do go to that page.
The TA widget is a piece of $%^# though, and only works about 1/3 of the time.
You hit it on the head right there. All these things to take guests OFF your website, I would like to warn all innkeepers - keep them ON your website, even populating new windows can be tricky. All those "link love" requests I think can hurt your bottom line. I need to reevaluate what I have on our website and stop some of those outgoing links...
.
All these things to take guests OFF your website, I would like to warn all innkeepers - keep them ON your website,
There is a caveat though. Your site is judged both by search engines and humans in terms of who you link to. Link to nothing and there is nothing for that portion of the score.
.
I think swirt has it backwards - for SEO you want links TO your website. The links you provide to TripAdvisor by putting a widget or other link on your site, helps TripAdvisor's SEO, not yours.
.
Did you notice that TripAdvisor does not put any links on their site to the hotel's website? None of the reviews link back to your hotel or inn. And when TripAdvisor reviews of your hotel and inn show up in Google local search, they link back to TripAdvisor - not to your hotel or inn.
 

GBCEO

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I think, in large part, that's why I decided to put the bb.com and TA review widgets on my own website. Visitors don't have to leave to read our reviews and about 80% of site visitors do go to that page.
The TA widget is a piece of $%^# though, and only works about 1/3 of the time..
Does anyone leave the widget to go to TA or bandb.com?
.
Oh, probably about 20% of the time they click on the link that says "read all 60 reviews"......but it opens in a new browser window, so they don's exit the site altogether. I've never seen anyone go out and not come back from reading reviews, or it's not happening often enough for me to take notice.
.
The new browser window does enable a user to easily "return" to your website - but the risk is really that once the user decides to see the reviews on TripAdvisor, they may book at another hotel or inn.
 

swirt

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I think, in large part, that's why I decided to put the bb.com and TA review widgets on my own website. Visitors don't have to leave to read our reviews and about 80% of site visitors do go to that page.
The TA widget is a piece of $%^# though, and only works about 1/3 of the time..
Little Blue said:
I think, in large part, that's why I decided to put the bb.com and TA review widgets on my own website. Visitors don't have to leave to read our reviews and about 80% of site visitors do go to that page.
The TA widget is a piece of $%^# though, and only works about 1/3 of the time.
You hit it on the head right there. All these things to take guests OFF your website, I would like to warn all innkeepers - keep them ON your website, even populating new windows can be tricky. All those "link love" requests I think can hurt your bottom line. I need to reevaluate what I have on our website and stop some of those outgoing links...
.
All these things to take guests OFF your website, I would like to warn all innkeepers - keep them ON your website,
There is a caveat though. Your site is judged both by search engines and humans in terms of who you link to. Link to nothing and there is nothing for that portion of the score.
.
I think swirt has it backwards - for SEO you want links TO your website. The links you provide to TripAdvisor by putting a widget or other link on your site, helps TripAdvisor's SEO, not yours.
.
I think swirt has it backwards - for SEO you want links TO your website. The links you provide to TripAdvisor by putting a widget or other link on your site, helps TripAdvisor's SEO, not yours.
Not backwards, I just take into account ALL of the factors involved rather than just one of them. Yes you want incoming links to your site. You also need outgoing links. There are no "authority sites" with no outgoing links (well...except for Google). Look at the top B&B websites, according to the search engines, for any given region and you will find that one feature they have is quality outbound links.
Link to crap, get judged as crap. Link to quality, get judged as quality. (still not convinced, put 20 links on your home page to some of the raunchiest sites on the web and watch what happens to your performance in the search engines.)
The other major difference is that you are judged more critically on who you link to than who links to you. Example: 20 raunchy sites can link to you and not hurt you in any way (in terms of SEO) as long as they were not paid links. The general idea being that some other site can't do anything to hurt your site. However, if you link to 20 raunchy sites, since you have control over those links, they can be held against you.
My comment to Joe Bloggs was not specific to the TripAdvisor widget. It was more broad to the concern of going though his site and ripping out the outgoing links.
You are a bit correct in that the TripAdvisor widget may help tripadvisor's seo. Though the links to tripadvisor through the widget are all come from a standardized javascript pulled from tripadvisor. Google can crawl javascript, but in most case chooses not to. If it did choose to in this case it would spot the footrpint left by the widget and likely discount it. In the event that it didn't and actually did give some tiny seo benefit to TA it would also give that benefit to the property's review (since the links go there directly) so it could help you as long as the review is good.
 

swirt

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I think, in large part, that's why I decided to put the bb.com and TA review widgets on my own website. Visitors don't have to leave to read our reviews and about 80% of site visitors do go to that page.
The TA widget is a piece of $%^# though, and only works about 1/3 of the time..
Little Blue said:
I think, in large part, that's why I decided to put the bb.com and TA review widgets on my own website. Visitors don't have to leave to read our reviews and about 80% of site visitors do go to that page.
The TA widget is a piece of $%^# though, and only works about 1/3 of the time.
You hit it on the head right there. All these things to take guests OFF your website, I would like to warn all innkeepers - keep them ON your website, even populating new windows can be tricky. All those "link love" requests I think can hurt your bottom line. I need to reevaluate what I have on our website and stop some of those outgoing links...
.
All these things to take guests OFF your website, I would like to warn all innkeepers - keep them ON your website,
There is a caveat though. Your site is judged both by search engines and humans in terms of who you link to. Link to nothing and there is nothing for that portion of the score.
.
I think swirt has it backwards - for SEO you want links TO your website. The links you provide to TripAdvisor by putting a widget or other link on your site, helps TripAdvisor's SEO, not yours.
.
Did you notice that TripAdvisor does not put any links on their site to the hotel's website? None of the reviews link back to your hotel or inn. And when TripAdvisor reviews of your hotel and inn show up in Google local search, they link back to TripAdvisor - not to your hotel or inn.
.
GBCEO said:
Did you notice that TripAdvisor does not put any links on their site to the hotel's website? None of the reviews link back to your hotel or inn. And when TripAdvisor reviews of your hotel and inn show up in Google local search, they link back to TripAdvisor - not to your hotel or inn.
I think I have noticed that

That is intentional on their part. Their goal is not to help the individual hotel or B&B. Their goal is to help their partners (expedia, travelocity, hotels.com...) by providing info to travellers and a stage to those travellers who want it. So when they link, they link only to their partners. It is a pretty tight funnel.
 

swirt

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There is a good article in HotelMarketing.com "TripAdvisor on your hotel website - good or bad?"
http://www.hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/tripadvisor_on_your_hotel_website_good_or_bad/
which is written by Hospitality eBusiness Strategies (HeBS). The author concludes:
"As per best practices, the hotel website should already feature a Guest Testimonials Page . . ."
However, reviews on a hotel's own website that are not managed by an independent company would lack credibility. This is why GuestBook provides a managed and hosted guest review service for hotels and inns. We provides hotels and inns with a webpage on guestbookreviews.com that, in effect, is an extension of their own website through a link on the hotel's website, but at the same time provides credibility because the reviews are not managed by the hotel itself. Since there are no other links on the hotel's GuestBook webpage other than to its website and reservation system, it helps the hotels retain their website visitors. We also validate that the guest has actually stayed at the hotel.
You can learn more at http://guestbookhotels.com
Yes, we are a startup, but we are having discussions with a number of major brands who have a significant interest in diminishing the influence of TripAdvisor and retaining visitors on their website (as well as helping to drive traffic to their website through local search results). At the same time we welcome any size hotels or inns to use our service which is priced accordingly, and we offer a free two-month trial.
Feel free to give me a call - contact info is at our corporate website: http://guestbookhotels.com
Alan Hollander, founder and CEO..
Don't get me wrong. I think your idea is a pretty good one. TripAdvisor should not be the only avenue and I think your approach could work pretty well.
Your service seems more targeted at hotels (kind of a dirty word on this forum). Do you have any plans to scale it to B&B's and small Inns?
The possible problem I see is that if a hotel or B&B gets a few bad reviews from their guests, they could just stop paying your monthly fee and they go away. OR they hand out the secret id numbers to friends, family or an army of Indian computer operators and Abracadabra, they have instant great reviews. I like that the inn is protected from illegitimate reviews, but what is in place to protect the travellers from unscrupulous hoteliers?
 

GBCEO

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I think, in large part, that's why I decided to put the bb.com and TA review widgets on my own website. Visitors don't have to leave to read our reviews and about 80% of site visitors do go to that page.
The TA widget is a piece of $%^# though, and only works about 1/3 of the time..
Little Blue said:
I think, in large part, that's why I decided to put the bb.com and TA review widgets on my own website. Visitors don't have to leave to read our reviews and about 80% of site visitors do go to that page.
The TA widget is a piece of $%^# though, and only works about 1/3 of the time.
You hit it on the head right there. All these things to take guests OFF your website, I would like to warn all innkeepers - keep them ON your website, even populating new windows can be tricky. All those "link love" requests I think can hurt your bottom line. I need to reevaluate what I have on our website and stop some of those outgoing links...
.
All these things to take guests OFF your website, I would like to warn all innkeepers - keep them ON your website,
There is a caveat though. Your site is judged both by search engines and humans in terms of who you link to. Link to nothing and there is nothing for that portion of the score.
.
I think swirt has it backwards - for SEO you want links TO your website. The links you provide to TripAdvisor by putting a widget or other link on your site, helps TripAdvisor's SEO, not yours.
.
I think swirt has it backwards - for SEO you want links TO your website. The links you provide to TripAdvisor by putting a widget or other link on your site, helps TripAdvisor's SEO, not yours.
Not backwards, I just take into account ALL of the factors involved rather than just one of them. Yes you want incoming links to your site. You also need outgoing links. There are no "authority sites" with no outgoing links (well...except for Google). Look at the top B&B websites, according to the search engines, for any given region and you will find that one feature they have is quality outbound links.
Link to crap, get judged as crap. Link to quality, get judged as quality. (still not convinced, put 20 links on your home page to some of the raunchiest sites on the web and watch what happens to your performance in the search engines.)
The other major difference is that you are judged more critically on who you link to than who links to you. Example: 20 raunchy sites can link to you and not hurt you in any way (in terms of SEO) as long as they were not paid links. The general idea being that some other site can't do anything to hurt your site. However, if you link to 20 raunchy sites, since you have control over those links, they can be held against you.
My comment to Joe Bloggs was not specific to the TripAdvisor widget. It was more broad to the concern of going though his site and ripping out the outgoing links.
You are a bit correct in that the TripAdvisor widget may help tripadvisor's seo. Though the links to tripadvisor through the widget are all come from a standardized javascript pulled from tripadvisor. Google can crawl javascript, but in most case chooses not to. If it did choose to in this case it would spot the footrpint left by the widget and likely discount it. In the event that it didn't and actually did give some tiny seo benefit to TA it would also give that benefit to the property's review (since the links go there directly) so it could help you as long as the review is good.
.
TripAdvisor gets very high rankings on Google when a user searches for particular hotel in a specific city or town and there is a risk that the user clicks the TripAdvisor link first to see the reviews, and then books at another hotel or inn. So I would think you would not want to be providing more ways for TripAdvisor to increase the number of links to TripAdvisor when a user is searching specifically for a hotel they may have been referred to.
But much more important than the widget SEO issue is that there is a significant benefit in having guest reviews to be displayed in Google local search and that, in effect, link back to the hotel's own website.
 

swirt

Forum founder. Former Owner.
Joined
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I think, in large part, that's why I decided to put the bb.com and TA review widgets on my own website. Visitors don't have to leave to read our reviews and about 80% of site visitors do go to that page.
The TA widget is a piece of $%^# though, and only works about 1/3 of the time..
Little Blue said:
I think, in large part, that's why I decided to put the bb.com and TA review widgets on my own website. Visitors don't have to leave to read our reviews and about 80% of site visitors do go to that page.
The TA widget is a piece of $%^# though, and only works about 1/3 of the time.
You hit it on the head right there. All these things to take guests OFF your website, I would like to warn all innkeepers - keep them ON your website, even populating new windows can be tricky. All those "link love" requests I think can hurt your bottom line. I need to reevaluate what I have on our website and stop some of those outgoing links...
.
All these things to take guests OFF your website, I would like to warn all innkeepers - keep them ON your website,
There is a caveat though. Your site is judged both by search engines and humans in terms of who you link to. Link to nothing and there is nothing for that portion of the score.
.
I think swirt has it backwards - for SEO you want links TO your website. The links you provide to TripAdvisor by putting a widget or other link on your site, helps TripAdvisor's SEO, not yours.
.
I think swirt has it backwards - for SEO you want links TO your website. The links you provide to TripAdvisor by putting a widget or other link on your site, helps TripAdvisor's SEO, not yours.
Not backwards, I just take into account ALL of the factors involved rather than just one of them. Yes you want incoming links to your site. You also need outgoing links. There are no "authority sites" with no outgoing links (well...except for Google). Look at the top B&B websites, according to the search engines, for any given region and you will find that one feature they have is quality outbound links.
Link to crap, get judged as crap. Link to quality, get judged as quality. (still not convinced, put 20 links on your home page to some of the raunchiest sites on the web and watch what happens to your performance in the search engines.)
The other major difference is that you are judged more critically on who you link to than who links to you. Example: 20 raunchy sites can link to you and not hurt you in any way (in terms of SEO) as long as they were not paid links. The general idea being that some other site can't do anything to hurt your site. However, if you link to 20 raunchy sites, since you have control over those links, they can be held against you.
My comment to Joe Bloggs was not specific to the TripAdvisor widget. It was more broad to the concern of going though his site and ripping out the outgoing links.
You are a bit correct in that the TripAdvisor widget may help tripadvisor's seo. Though the links to tripadvisor through the widget are all come from a standardized javascript pulled from tripadvisor. Google can crawl javascript, but in most case chooses not to. If it did choose to in this case it would spot the footrpint left by the widget and likely discount it. In the event that it didn't and actually did give some tiny seo benefit to TA it would also give that benefit to the property's review (since the links go there directly) so it could help you as long as the review is good.
.
TripAdvisor gets very high rankings on Google when a user searches for particular hotel in a specific city or town and there is a risk that the user clicks the TripAdvisor link first to see the reviews, and then books at another hotel or inn. So I would think you would not want to be providing more ways for TripAdvisor to increase the number of links to TripAdvisor when a user is searching specifically for a hotel they may have been referred to.
But much more important than the widget SEO issue is that there is a significant benefit in having guest reviews to be displayed in Google local search and that, in effect, link back to the hotel's own website.
.
But much more important than the widget SEO issue is that there is a significant benefit in having guest reviews to be displayed in Google local search and that, in effect, link back to the hotel's own website.
Are you saying that your site is already providing review feeds to google local?
 

GBCEO

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There is a good article in HotelMarketing.com "TripAdvisor on your hotel website - good or bad?"
http://www.hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/tripadvisor_on_your_hotel_website_good_or_bad/
which is written by Hospitality eBusiness Strategies (HeBS). The author concludes:
"As per best practices, the hotel website should already feature a Guest Testimonials Page . . ."
However, reviews on a hotel's own website that are not managed by an independent company would lack credibility. This is why GuestBook provides a managed and hosted guest review service for hotels and inns. We provides hotels and inns with a webpage on guestbookreviews.com that, in effect, is an extension of their own website through a link on the hotel's website, but at the same time provides credibility because the reviews are not managed by the hotel itself. Since there are no other links on the hotel's GuestBook webpage other than to its website and reservation system, it helps the hotels retain their website visitors. We also validate that the guest has actually stayed at the hotel.
You can learn more at http://guestbookhotels.com
Yes, we are a startup, but we are having discussions with a number of major brands who have a significant interest in diminishing the influence of TripAdvisor and retaining visitors on their website (as well as helping to drive traffic to their website through local search results). At the same time we welcome any size hotels or inns to use our service which is priced accordingly, and we offer a free two-month trial.
Feel free to give me a call - contact info is at our corporate website: http://guestbookhotels.com
Alan Hollander, founder and CEO..
Don't get me wrong. I think your idea is a pretty good one. TripAdvisor should not be the only avenue and I think your approach could work pretty well.
Your service seems more targeted at hotels (kind of a dirty word on this forum). Do you have any plans to scale it to B&B's and small Inns?
The possible problem I see is that if a hotel or B&B gets a few bad reviews from their guests, they could just stop paying your monthly fee and they go away. OR they hand out the secret id numbers to friends, family or an army of Indian computer operators and Abracadabra, they have instant great reviews. I like that the inn is protected from illegitimate reviews, but what is in place to protect the travellers from unscrupulous hoteliers?
.
Actually we thought the service would be ideal for inns since there is much more personal interaction and the innkeepers can hand the guest the invitation at the time the guest is (hopefully) thanking the innkeeper for such a wonderful stay! And we have priced the service for inns under 15 rooms at only $10/month (with a free 2 month trial). Hotels pay much more.
As to the issue of inns (or hotels) posting favorable reviews themselves, we do have technology to help prevent this, but more importantly, we don't provide rankings like TripAdvisor does, and we believe it is the ranking system which really encourages inns to post reviews to keep up or improve their ranking.
A few negative reviews is inevitable, but we believe that the invitation system will encourage more guests to post who might not otherwise think about posting or want to go through the trouble of registering on TripAdvisor. We do not have any registration system so the posting process is very simple (and if the invitations are sent via email the guest only has to click through to the site), and with such an easy way to post, we expect an inn would get a lot more favorable reviews to counter a few negative reviews. In fact some balance is good to lend credibility. We do not expect to leave reviews up for more than one year (TA leaves them up for 8+ years), so there is the ability to leave the negative reviews behind if a situation has been corrected that engendered the negative review.
 

GBCEO

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I think, in large part, that's why I decided to put the bb.com and TA review widgets on my own website. Visitors don't have to leave to read our reviews and about 80% of site visitors do go to that page.
The TA widget is a piece of $%^# though, and only works about 1/3 of the time..
Little Blue said:
I think, in large part, that's why I decided to put the bb.com and TA review widgets on my own website. Visitors don't have to leave to read our reviews and about 80% of site visitors do go to that page.
The TA widget is a piece of $%^# though, and only works about 1/3 of the time.
You hit it on the head right there. All these things to take guests OFF your website, I would like to warn all innkeepers - keep them ON your website, even populating new windows can be tricky. All those "link love" requests I think can hurt your bottom line. I need to reevaluate what I have on our website and stop some of those outgoing links...
.
All these things to take guests OFF your website, I would like to warn all innkeepers - keep them ON your website,
There is a caveat though. Your site is judged both by search engines and humans in terms of who you link to. Link to nothing and there is nothing for that portion of the score.
.
I think swirt has it backwards - for SEO you want links TO your website. The links you provide to TripAdvisor by putting a widget or other link on your site, helps TripAdvisor's SEO, not yours.
.
I think swirt has it backwards - for SEO you want links TO your website. The links you provide to TripAdvisor by putting a widget or other link on your site, helps TripAdvisor's SEO, not yours.
Not backwards, I just take into account ALL of the factors involved rather than just one of them. Yes you want incoming links to your site. You also need outgoing links. There are no "authority sites" with no outgoing links (well...except for Google). Look at the top B&B websites, according to the search engines, for any given region and you will find that one feature they have is quality outbound links.
Link to crap, get judged as crap. Link to quality, get judged as quality. (still not convinced, put 20 links on your home page to some of the raunchiest sites on the web and watch what happens to your performance in the search engines.)
The other major difference is that you are judged more critically on who you link to than who links to you. Example: 20 raunchy sites can link to you and not hurt you in any way (in terms of SEO) as long as they were not paid links. The general idea being that some other site can't do anything to hurt your site. However, if you link to 20 raunchy sites, since you have control over those links, they can be held against you.
My comment to Joe Bloggs was not specific to the TripAdvisor widget. It was more broad to the concern of going though his site and ripping out the outgoing links.
You are a bit correct in that the TripAdvisor widget may help tripadvisor's seo. Though the links to tripadvisor through the widget are all come from a standardized javascript pulled from tripadvisor. Google can crawl javascript, but in most case chooses not to. If it did choose to in this case it would spot the footrpint left by the widget and likely discount it. In the event that it didn't and actually did give some tiny seo benefit to TA it would also give that benefit to the property's review (since the links go there directly) so it could help you as long as the review is good.
.
TripAdvisor gets very high rankings on Google when a user searches for particular hotel in a specific city or town and there is a risk that the user clicks the TripAdvisor link first to see the reviews, and then books at another hotel or inn. So I would think you would not want to be providing more ways for TripAdvisor to increase the number of links to TripAdvisor when a user is searching specifically for a hotel they may have been referred to.
But much more important than the widget SEO issue is that there is a significant benefit in having guest reviews to be displayed in Google local search and that, in effect, link back to the hotel's own website.
.
But much more important than the widget SEO issue is that there is a significant benefit in having guest reviews to be displayed in Google local search and that, in effect, link back to the hotel's own website.
Are you saying that your site is already providing review feeds to google local?
.
We originally expected to provide XML base feeds to Google, but the local search group which I have had discusssions with does not want feeds, so they will use our sitemap instead. The sitemap updated each night has a separate url for each review. Also we have implemented microformats for hreview which Google has recently announced support for.
Google local search for the most part only displays TripAdvisor and Priceline reviews, with a few others as well. They want more "high quality" reviews from other sources.
 

swirt

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I think, in large part, that's why I decided to put the bb.com and TA review widgets on my own website. Visitors don't have to leave to read our reviews and about 80% of site visitors do go to that page.
The TA widget is a piece of $%^# though, and only works about 1/3 of the time..
Little Blue said:
I think, in large part, that's why I decided to put the bb.com and TA review widgets on my own website. Visitors don't have to leave to read our reviews and about 80% of site visitors do go to that page.
The TA widget is a piece of $%^# though, and only works about 1/3 of the time.
You hit it on the head right there. All these things to take guests OFF your website, I would like to warn all innkeepers - keep them ON your website, even populating new windows can be tricky. All those "link love" requests I think can hurt your bottom line. I need to reevaluate what I have on our website and stop some of those outgoing links...
.
All these things to take guests OFF your website, I would like to warn all innkeepers - keep them ON your website,
There is a caveat though. Your site is judged both by search engines and humans in terms of who you link to. Link to nothing and there is nothing for that portion of the score.
.
I think swirt has it backwards - for SEO you want links TO your website. The links you provide to TripAdvisor by putting a widget or other link on your site, helps TripAdvisor's SEO, not yours.
.
I think swirt has it backwards - for SEO you want links TO your website. The links you provide to TripAdvisor by putting a widget or other link on your site, helps TripAdvisor's SEO, not yours.
Not backwards, I just take into account ALL of the factors involved rather than just one of them. Yes you want incoming links to your site. You also need outgoing links. There are no "authority sites" with no outgoing links (well...except for Google). Look at the top B&B websites, according to the search engines, for any given region and you will find that one feature they have is quality outbound links.
Link to crap, get judged as crap. Link to quality, get judged as quality. (still not convinced, put 20 links on your home page to some of the raunchiest sites on the web and watch what happens to your performance in the search engines.)
The other major difference is that you are judged more critically on who you link to than who links to you. Example: 20 raunchy sites can link to you and not hurt you in any way (in terms of SEO) as long as they were not paid links. The general idea being that some other site can't do anything to hurt your site. However, if you link to 20 raunchy sites, since you have control over those links, they can be held against you.
My comment to Joe Bloggs was not specific to the TripAdvisor widget. It was more broad to the concern of going though his site and ripping out the outgoing links.
You are a bit correct in that the TripAdvisor widget may help tripadvisor's seo. Though the links to tripadvisor through the widget are all come from a standardized javascript pulled from tripadvisor. Google can crawl javascript, but in most case chooses not to. If it did choose to in this case it would spot the footrpint left by the widget and likely discount it. In the event that it didn't and actually did give some tiny seo benefit to TA it would also give that benefit to the property's review (since the links go there directly) so it could help you as long as the review is good.
.
TripAdvisor gets very high rankings on Google when a user searches for particular hotel in a specific city or town and there is a risk that the user clicks the TripAdvisor link first to see the reviews, and then books at another hotel or inn. So I would think you would not want to be providing more ways for TripAdvisor to increase the number of links to TripAdvisor when a user is searching specifically for a hotel they may have been referred to.
But much more important than the widget SEO issue is that there is a significant benefit in having guest reviews to be displayed in Google local search and that, in effect, link back to the hotel's own website.
.
But much more important than the widget SEO issue is that there is a significant benefit in having guest reviews to be displayed in Google local search and that, in effect, link back to the hotel's own website.
Are you saying that your site is already providing review feeds to google local?
.
We originally expected to provide XML base feeds to Google, but the local search group which I have had discusssions with does not want feeds, so they will use our sitemap instead. The sitemap updated each night has a separate url for each review. Also we have implemented microformats for hreview which Google has recently announced support for.
Google local search for the most part only displays TripAdvisor and Priceline reviews, with a few others as well. They want more "high quality" reviews from other sources.
.
Google local search for the most part only displays TripAdvisor and Priceline reviews, with a few others as well.
In this niche they also get them from Bedandbreakfast.com.
 

swirt

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There is a good article in HotelMarketing.com "TripAdvisor on your hotel website - good or bad?"
http://www.hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/tripadvisor_on_your_hotel_website_good_or_bad/
which is written by Hospitality eBusiness Strategies (HeBS). The author concludes:
"As per best practices, the hotel website should already feature a Guest Testimonials Page . . ."
However, reviews on a hotel's own website that are not managed by an independent company would lack credibility. This is why GuestBook provides a managed and hosted guest review service for hotels and inns. We provides hotels and inns with a webpage on guestbookreviews.com that, in effect, is an extension of their own website through a link on the hotel's website, but at the same time provides credibility because the reviews are not managed by the hotel itself. Since there are no other links on the hotel's GuestBook webpage other than to its website and reservation system, it helps the hotels retain their website visitors. We also validate that the guest has actually stayed at the hotel.
You can learn more at http://guestbookhotels.com
Yes, we are a startup, but we are having discussions with a number of major brands who have a significant interest in diminishing the influence of TripAdvisor and retaining visitors on their website (as well as helping to drive traffic to their website through local search results). At the same time we welcome any size hotels or inns to use our service which is priced accordingly, and we offer a free two-month trial.
Feel free to give me a call - contact info is at our corporate website: http://guestbookhotels.com
Alan Hollander, founder and CEO..
Don't get me wrong. I think your idea is a pretty good one. TripAdvisor should not be the only avenue and I think your approach could work pretty well.
Your service seems more targeted at hotels (kind of a dirty word on this forum). Do you have any plans to scale it to B&B's and small Inns?
The possible problem I see is that if a hotel or B&B gets a few bad reviews from their guests, they could just stop paying your monthly fee and they go away. OR they hand out the secret id numbers to friends, family or an army of Indian computer operators and Abracadabra, they have instant great reviews. I like that the inn is protected from illegitimate reviews, but what is in place to protect the travellers from unscrupulous hoteliers?
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Actually we thought the service would be ideal for inns since there is much more personal interaction and the innkeepers can hand the guest the invitation at the time the guest is (hopefully) thanking the innkeeper for such a wonderful stay! And we have priced the service for inns under 15 rooms at only $10/month (with a free 2 month trial). Hotels pay much more.
As to the issue of inns (or hotels) posting favorable reviews themselves, we do have technology to help prevent this, but more importantly, we don't provide rankings like TripAdvisor does, and we believe it is the ranking system which really encourages inns to post reviews to keep up or improve their ranking.
A few negative reviews is inevitable, but we believe that the invitation system will encourage more guests to post who might not otherwise think about posting or want to go through the trouble of registering on TripAdvisor. We do not have any registration system so the posting process is very simple (and if the invitations are sent via email the guest only has to click through to the site), and with such an easy way to post, we expect an inn would get a lot more favorable reviews to counter a few negative reviews. In fact some balance is good to lend credibility. We do not expect to leave reviews up for more than one year (TA leaves them up for 8+ years), so there is the ability to leave the negative reviews behind if a situation has been corrected that engendered the negative review.
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...but more importantly, we don't provide rankings like TripAdvisor does, and we believe it is the ranking system which really encourages inns to post reviews to keep up or improve their ranking.
I think you are right on target with this one. Good plan.
 

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