Su from the Inn at Tanglewood Hall, a bed and breakfast in York Harbor, Me alerted me on the 20th to the fact that TripAdvisor reviews were once again missing from Google Places. Today she sent me this missive from the CEO of TripAdvisor, Steve Kaufer inviting questions via Twitter about the TripAdvisor-Google battle over review content in Google Places. I am reprinting his message in full:
#AskSteve on Twitter: TripAdvisor Talks Google Places and Invites Questions
With more than 70% of all searches in the U.S. alone, Google is the world’s dominant search engine with considerable power over displaying what users see on the web. With Google Places, it is abusing this power.
The success of any website relies on two crucial elements: how useful it is to the consumer and therefore how highly it ranks in search engines. With both of these elements, Google is manipulating its systems and position to promote Google Places over other competing sites. Links to Google Places appear at the top of the ‘natural’ search despite being an inferior product to sites that are dedicated to review collection and therefore more useful to the consumer. Google is also forcingTripAdvisor to allow its reviews to be on Google Places, and as the world’s largest travel site with more than 40 million reviews and opinions, become the key content provider in Google Places for hotel and other accommodation reviews.
While we expect competition in the travel planning sector, we expect the success of the competition to be decided by the consumer. The EU Commission is currently investigating claims of how Google is adopting unfair practice; Google Places is another example of how they are abusing their dominant position in search.
As the situation continues to unfold, we know that many of you may have questions about Google Places and how we at TripAdvisor are approaching it, and I want to get those questions answered. Over the next couple of days, we’ll be asking you to share these questions on Twitter, and I’ll be answering them right here on the TripAdvisor blog. Follow us at @TripAdvisor for additional details on how to submit questions and join in on the conversation.
Steve Kaufer, CEO, TripAdvisor
Guidelines for submitting questions:
- I’ll only be answering questions about Google Places. Questions on other topics will not be responded to at this time.
- In order to have your question included, please be sure to use the hashtag #AskSteve.
- I will be answering ten questions. Answers will be posted here, on the TripAdvisor blog, and shared on Twitter. Follow @TripAdvisor for updates.
To see the Twitter question stream….