TripAdvisor’s quiet dumping of RSS feeds raises interesting issues
RSS – on the surface, a great mechanism for delivering your content to a wider world. In reality – as it appears that TripAdvisor has quietly concluded – completely counter-productive for sites dependent on on-site advertising for their revenues.
For a short time, RSS feeds allowed the traveller to monitor a hotel over time to pick up any worrying reports before booking or travelling. A hotel owner could use RSS to have latest reviews delivered so he could monitor and respond to any potential reputation problems as they arose.
It all sounded good – until somebody at TripAdvisor presumably realised that providing RSS feeds of reviews achieved absolutely nothing except keeping the potential clickers at a distance from the on-site sponsors. Doh.
What’s interesting is that now, if you search Google for Tripadvisor RSS feeds, there’s no clear information. TripAdvisor seems to mumble on a bit about RSS being available at various places on the site, but I didn’t see any when I did a quick search just now.
So if you’ve arrived here trying to work out why something that seemed so useful to the general public suddenly disappeared, the answer can only be that RSS, pushing content TO subscribers doesn’t work with the Google Ad Revenue model.
This also hints at something I’ve thought for a while – that online revenue mechanisms default to the Ad revenue model when direct monetisation or other methods fail.