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That’s the context for a new feature that Kayak is introducing today: User rating scores to rival TripAdvisor’s Popularity Index for hotels.
And, as part of Kayak’s changes, which also includes a redesigned homepage, it is not-so-coincidentally dropping its use of TripAdvisor user reviews.
“Our goal is to aggregate as much quality content as makes sense, with a focus on verified user reviews,” says Robert Birge, Kayak’s chief marketing officer. “We have great respect for TripAdvisor, and we’ve had a great working relationship. However, at this time they’re not included in our aggregated review content.”
In a blog post, Kayak explains that it is introducing an aggregated user rating score, summaries of user sentiment from around the Web from reputation-management firm TrustYou, and verified reviews from Kayak sister companies Booking.com and Priceline.com, as well as Travelocity.
You can see that Kayak gives Caesars Palace Las Vegas four stars out of five, and a “Good” 8.0 rating, based on 1,271 reviews. In addition to the overall rating, there are summaries of user sentiment from TrustYou on the hotel itself, the location, room size, and reception from the staff.
And, then for Caesars Palace Las Vegas, there are also guest reviews from Booking.com customers who it is verified have stayed at the hotel.
Kayak states it is “also working to integrate review content from Expedia and Hotels.com, among others.”
TrustYou says its review summaries are based on data it monitors and analyzes “from more than 250 different sources daily, including sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, Qype HolidayCheck, Facebook, and Twitter and we are constantly adding new sites to our monitoring application.”
TripAdvisor, too, rates hotels, using a proprietary algorithm to analyze user reviews.
Unlike Kayak, TripAdvisor doesn’t use verified reviews from online travel agencies such as Priceline, Booking,com, Travelocity, or Expedia.
On the other hand, TripAdvisor’s user reviews are more social than Kayak’s user reviews. TripAdvisor displays which of your Facebook friends know a particular reviewer, thereby giving consumers an additional way to assess the worth of the review.