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TripAdvisor Debuts Paid Search Listings to Help Restaurants Lure Patrons

Consumers are significantly more likely to click a restaurant listing in the top position of search results than one in a lower position. Looking to profit off that widespread habit, TripAdvisor today began offering a way for restaurants to pay for the privilege of having their listing appear in the most desirable spots. The move builds on a suite of marketing-based subscription products that the company rolled out earlier this year.

Today the company debuted TripAdvisor Ads within the restaurant search results on its desktop and mobile websites (but not its mobile apps) worldwide. Owners who have claimed their restaurant listing on TripAdvisor can participate, and owners who sign up will pay a small (variable) amounts to TripAdvisor each time potential customers click sponsored links and visit the owner’s listing page.

The sponsored placements only appear as answers to search queries that are relevant to a user’s search criteria of price, cuisine, and time of meal. That functionality gives the tool a slight edge as an ad product over Google AdWords, Facebook’s ad products, and advertising opportunities on other review sites and booking platforms.

In another plus, TripAdvisor requires no contracts and can be capped at a certain budget, making it a relatively low-risk experiment for companies looking to appeal to customers looking for places to eat.

The ads are not yet appearing on sister brands The Fork or Dimmi — two restaurant reservation platforms TripAdvisor acquired overseas in recent years. A spokesperson gave no timetable on that front.