Archive for the ‘Online Reviews’ Category
I reported recently that TripAdvisor was going to work on my suggestion to change a small, but very important, part of a property’s page. And,…I’m happy to report, the change has been made! This is good news.
Every property page has a “Best Deals” box on the right side, in which are likely included sponsored links to various properties in your area. Prior to the change, the title of the box would have said something like “Best Deals: 1889 WhiteGate Inn,” only to find links to competing properties that are completely unrelated to the 1889 WhiteGate Inn. It was misleading and felt unfair to the people at the inn who worked hard to develop their business and brand. I understand that business on the web and within TripAdvisor can buy Pay Per Click advertising using terms that might contain competitors’ names. For example, if you Google “iPhone,” the first ad you’ll see on the right side is for Blackberry (I can’t imagine what they’re paying for that, by the way). It would be wrong if the Blackberry ad said, “Best Deals for iPhones” and took you over to the Blackberry page. That’s sort of what this “Best Deals” box felt like.
The small change TripAdvisor made (thanks to the staff I’ve been working directly with and their CEO), is that the box now says, “Best Deals: Asheville,” in the case of the 1889 WhiteGate Inn in Asheville, NC. It no longer conspicuously uses the name of the B&B to drive traffic to competing properties. I believe this results in a better experience for the web site visitor and is much more palatable for innkeepers everywhere. Thank you, TripAdvisor, for listening and acting!
And, while I had seen these changes in the works while I was at the TripAdvisor offices earlier this month, I see today that BedandBreakfast.com members now have a direct link to their listings on that directory within that “Best Deals” box. These links to the BedandBreakfast.com listings (while they say “Official Website”, which isn’t totally accurate unless your BedandBreakfast.com listing is your inn’s official website) are a good way to maintain the industry’s competitive approach to hotels. Before this addition, you’d most likely only find competing hotels in that “Best Deals” box. Efforts to keep potential “inngoers” looking at potential inns instead of being baited to hotels are good in my book! Read more »
Tags: BedandBreakfast.com, Online Reviews, TripAdvisor
Posted in Online Review Sites, Online Reviews, Uncategorized | 8 Comments »
Sorry for the long post, but it’s been a while since I updated the innkeeping community on my discussions with TripAdvisor. For those of you unaware of what PAII has been doing, I have been representing on behalf of innkeepers some requests for change on the TripAdvisor site. The issues below represent a selection of matters I have been spotlighting for TripAdvisor staff during quarterly meetings at their headquarters outside Boston.
Change and progress are taking time, but I’m glad to report that some thing are changing and will continue to change. The TripAdvisor staff have been willing to listen and engage in meaningful conversation every step of the way since I became involved.
The work we are doing keeps the B&B industry visible in their eyes.
Tags: Online Reviews, TripAdvisor
Posted in Online Review Sites, Online Reviews, TripAdvisor | 21 Comments »
Rick Wolf of The B&B Team shared with me a recent NY Times article about the online review site, Yelp. Some innkeepers are beginning to see reviews of their properties on this site. From what I can tell, and what this article explains in more details, is that Yelp gives business owners little or no opportunities to defend themsevles against any reviews. They don’t even offer an opportunity for management responses! Read the article here.
The CEO of Yelp, Jeremy Stoppelman, says his top priority is “to make sure the community (of reviewers) is protected and can share without fear of being publicly spat on.” Here is where Mr. Stoppelman is off-base. Since reviewers are anonymous, there is no risk of being publicly spat on, because no one knows who the reviewers are. The business owners are the ones who bear 100% of the chance of being publicly spat on. This imbalance is a major, unfortunate flaw in such review sites.
Stoppleman even says, “Business owners want to control their reputation, and we’re just not going to let that happen.” All I can say in response is a dumbfounded, “wow.”
Tags: Online Reviews, Reputation Management, TripAdvisor
Posted in Online Reviews, Reputation Management, TripAdvisor | 7 Comments »
Today I interviewed Mr. Charlie Kennedy, an attorney well-versed in the issues of cyberlaw and customer content on web sites, as part of our new series of Innkeeping Industry Interviews. Charlie will be speaking at the upcoming Innkeeping Show as part of our general session on “Mastering Online Reviews and Reputation Management.”
I asked Charlie to speak with me, and to speak at the conference, because innkeepers often ask me good questions about the ability for anonymous people to possibly (and actually) leave defaming remarks on web sites about their inns.
What protects review sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp!, Amazon, etc. from libel suits, when defaming reviews appear on their sites?
What recourse does an innkeeper have with regard to seeking a judgment against someone who is making false allegations about their property on a review site?
Tags: Online Reviews, TripAdvisor
Posted in Innkeeping Interviews, Online Reviews, TripAdvisor | 3 Comments »