TripAdvisor Having Hard Time Getting Reviews Off Google Places

The CEO of TripAdvisor Stephen Kaufer said the company's request to have their reviews taken down from Google Places sites has been denied by Google.

"Kaufer said talks between his company and Google broke down after the Internet search giant said it would continue to include TripAdvisor's user-generated reviews of businesses such as hotels in its Google's Place pages and Hotpot business-reviews service. Mr. Kaufer said those services compete for Web traffic with his company's site," the Wall Street Journal reported.

TripAdvisor is not the only site dealing with Google using their review content. Yelp and CitySearch - which has UrbanSpoon amongst its review sites - are both in talks with Google about how best to have their site content used by Google.

Interestingly, TripAdvisor has 518 subdirectories blocked with their robots.txt file -- but not their actual review subdirectories. Since they are mixed in with the information about the companies being reviewed, which no doubt they want in the search results, the site can't block Google using that file.

TripAdvisor and others could create a way to have the reviews at the bottom of a company's page but not actually part of the spidered content -- with an iFrame perhaps. And as review content and local listings become more popular this issue will become more important.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.