Travel site TripAdvisor made two Microsoft-related announcements today. The company announced a Windows 8.1 app. But more significantly TripAdvisor and Bing are now presenting TripAdvisor content and travel search capabilities within Bing search results pages.
Bing will now display TripAdvisor reviews and photos as well as TripAdvisor’s hotel price comparison tool in SERPs. TripAdvisor’s full content library including restaurants, hotels and attractions will reportedly be available to Bing.
TripAdvisor said this on its blog about the Bing integration:
In the U.S., we are partnering with Bing to embed TripAdvisor’s price comparison tools, traveler reviews and photos within search results on Bing.com. Now, when you search for somewhere to stay on Bing, you’ll have instant access to our community’s reviews and ratings without needing to leave the page. And, if you have specific dates in mind, you can see which hotels are available and at what price. You can go from thinking about where to go to being ready to book in a matter of seconds.
It’s not clear whether this partnership is the beginning of a broader third party content syndication program for TripAdvisor or whether this is an exclusive deal with Bing. I haven’t received an answer from TripAdvisor to that question yet.
Regardless, it’s not likely that Google and TripAdvisor would make a similar arrangement for several reasons — among them the fact that TripAdvisor is part of anti-Google lobbying organization Fairsearch.org as well as the fact that Google has its own competing travel products that it’s trying to promote.
Below are live screens I pulled a few minutes ago, based on screenshots sent to me by TripAdvisor public relations.
It wasn’t clear from the material I saw whether Bing search partner Yahoo will benefit from this deal and content. My suspicion is probably not. However Yahoo could potentially negotiate its own deal directly with TripAdvisor.
TripAdvisor offers very useful content, which will greatly enhance Bing’s SERPs. Good reviews on TripAdvisor become even more important now given their exposure through Bing. However, I suspect there are no Bing ranking benefits coming to those well-reviewed on TripAdvisor.
Hard core TripAdvisor users are unlikely to shift their search activity to Bing as a result of this deal. But Bing users may find they really like the enhanced content around hotels, attractions and restaurants from TripAdvisor, which could deepen their engagement and search frequency.