TripAdvisor Blocks Reviews, Says Google Places Doesn't Benefit Users

TripAdvisor has confirmed that it is blocking reviews from appearing in Google Places results. In a statement, TripAdvisor said:

"Google frequently makes changes to Google Places, and while we're continuing to evaluate it, we don't think it benefits users at this time with the experience of selecting the right hotel. As a result, we have currently limited the TripAdvisor content available on those pages."

So a Places search for hotels currently won't return any TripAdvisor reviews:

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Mike Blumenthal, who runs the Understanding Google Maps & Local Search blog, suggested that the feud can be traced directly back to when Google added a hotel booking tool to every hotel Places page starting Nov. 15.

When the reviews initially disappeared on Dec. 4, Google was contacted and issued this statement: "We're aware of a technical issue in which TripAdvisor reviews are sometimes not appearing in results for Google Places, and our team is working to resolve the matter." Apparently, this was a separate (coincidental) technical issue that was resolved.

TripAdvisor is a member of FairSearch.org, which opposes Google's proposal to buy ITA. However, TripAdvisor denied that their membership in that group had anything to do with blocking the reviews, Tnooz reported.

Back in August, Yelp reviews vanished, but quietly returned by the time Google launched Places in October.