Wednesday, July 09, 2008

More on the Expedia-Tripadvisor referral saga

There are some issues that just seem fire people up.

Take yesterday’s story leading our enews bulletin, revealing some detail of the Expedia-Tripadvisor partnership.

We found some data via which showed how much Expedia benefits from upstream clicks from hotel search pages on its sister user review site in the US.

It captures 48% of these valuable leads. Accommodation aggregator, which is also part of the Expedia Inc empire, grabbed a further 11% of clicks.

This means that almost three out of five of all outbound ad clicks from Tripadvisor on the US site go to one of its sister companies.

We eventually managed to get a comment from Tripadvisor, but only confirming Expedia is “one of its biggest” advertisers.

This may well be PR sleight of hand as one could surmise that Expedia, according to the Compete figures, is clearly the biggest advertiser on Tripadvisor if most of the outbound clicks go to its site.

So to summarise some of the correspondence we received yesterday after publishing the story:

What must the others, who should surely be known as “some of the other biggest advertisers” on Tripadvisor, think about Expedia’s dominance of the outbound clicks?

If Expedia is only “one of the biggest”, are its ad copy-writing skills that much better than its big spending rivals to the extent that it can lure users away from clicking on other ads? [Tongue firmly planted in cheek, one suspects, with this one]

There were also plenty of comments about whether Expedia’s outbound click share correlates to the share of ad revenue on Tripadvisor from Expedia – an topic area Tripadvisor would not discuss yesterday.

All food for thought, though…

NB: More on the Compete blog.

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

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Anonymous said...

This doesn't surprise me at all. Let's face if if you have the world's most popular hotel reviews site which is owned by the world's largest OLTA then naturally that review site is going to feature the OLTA heavily. I'm sure Expedia are more likely to appear in ads since Tripadvisor is owned by them! At the end of the day it's all money in the same pot, the advertising costs Expedia nothing in real terms, so Expedia and TripAdvisor would mad to do things any differently.

Travolution Blogger said...


So what do you think TA's other advertisers would make of this relationship?

Darren Cronian said...

Kevin, I have little knowledge of online advertising but If I was going to advertise on TA I’d automatically think that Expedia are going to get ‘special treatment’ due to the relationship. I would be more bothered that I am getting value for money – are those click-thru’s increasing sales, or are the banner impressions getting good click-thru’s.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Travolution Blogger said...

Chase: spam, irelevant to the conversation.

jebworks said...

Well, any advertiser that puts their money on TripAdvisor should understand who their owners are and expect a certain bias in their favor.

On the plus side, they still probably get more valuable traffic than from similar ads on other less popular sites, or at least they should be able to compare the numbers.

Anonymous said...
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Travolution Blogger said...

Conny: don't spam the blog.