The end of Ranking? TripAdvisor tests "sponsored" results

TripAdvisor is piloting a series of new prominent advertising spots on some of its most important pages on the site. Visitors landing on one of TripAdvisor’s city pages, for example, will now see a paid-for placement from a partner, ahead of its “natural” listings.

The spot is slightly shaded and is labelled “Sponsored”. Each paying advertiser will get the existing pricing and date functionality as shown on other listings.

simone puorto tripadvisor

If a user chooses to enter their preferred dates and clicks “Show Prices” they will be redirected to the hotel’s page on TripAdvisor (as users would be when using the same functionality on organic listings), with deals then given from existing, paying partners such as online travel agencies.

TripAdvisor also remembers the dates last used for a search, so when a user goes back to a city page it then provides “Sponsored” deals for those dates in the same position as the ad units originally provided by a hotel.

The initial placement from hotels is being organised by way of tapping into TripAdvisor’s Business Listings, a programme which gives property owners a larger degree of control over how their content is displayed on the site. But the secondary placements, when dates are added by the user, comes via other advertisers that do not have a Business Listing, such as Booking.com. 

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