Trip Advisor and Google clash over search results

Excerpt from Accomnews
Published: Thursday, 16 April 2015 10:52

TripAdvisor criticised Google this week for restricting search results and displaying “anti-competitive behaviour”.

The travel site’s CEO Stephen Kaufer said in an official statement that he is disappointed the US Federal Trade Commission decided not to take action against Google and he hopes the European Commission will take a different approach.

Accomnews asked TripAdvisor what its approach will be in the Asia Pacific region and is awaiting a response as Mr Kaufer was not available for immediate comment.

Kaufer said: “Google’s anti-competitive behaviour and restricting search does not benefit consumers and it’s disappointing that with so many examples the FTC closed the investigation. We are hopeful that the EC will come to a different conclusion.”

According to reports, it seems likely that the EC will proceed against Google’s move to prioritise its own products and brands over competing websites.

Google made various changes to its search configuration recently, such as prioritising mobile-friendly websites over static pages. The new restrictions have had a mixed response and many have found them to be unfair.

However, the search engine has also started to prioritise local search results over OTA pages, which is something accommodation providers will likely benefit from.

Speaking exclusively with accomnews, Naveen Sharma from Lodgify, a software-builder for the accommodation industry, said, “We are receiving a lot of interest from hoteliers who would like to become less dependant on online travel agencies in order to regain more control of their bookings.

“They want to create their own website to drive direct bookings and build their own brand. Google is supporting this development and they see a potential opportunity here. The direct website channel is becoming increasingly important: Google are prioritising local search results ahead of OTA results, they have introduced a Google Hotel Finder and they offer dynamic hotel adwords that allow you as a guest to book directly from their website rather than an OTA.”

Accomnews also approached Google for comment but has not yet received a response.


 Accomnews article