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How to structure reviews on travel website?

   
9:02 am on Sep 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



We have thousands of reviews on a travel website which we are investigating how to structure properly. To this end I have had a look at how booking.com, airbnb.com and tripadvisor.com do it.

Let's suppose you have a travel listing for accomodation and it is example.com/somehotel.htm

Method 1:
Show a handful of reviews on the same page as the item they reviewing, ie. directly on example.com/somehotel.htm
When somebody clicks next page, use AJAX to dynamically load more reviews onto that same page.
Booking.com and AirBnB.com do it this way. It does not appear that Google indexes all the reviews this way, so they may do it for better UX.

Method 2:
Tripadvisor has separate (static) review pages and they all get indexed. So off the listing for the item, e.g example.com/somehotel.htm
They then link to
example.com/somehotel-reviews-1.htm
example.com/somehotel-reviews-2.htm
etc
With the latest content appearing on "-1.htm". i.e. the content of the pages will always be changing.

Now bear in mind:
- Generally one wants to rank for the item listing page (example.com/somehotel.htm) so perhaps having reviews on separate URLs is not that important as they may never rank for any searches? So perhaps there is some good thinking behind method 1?

Any feedback greatly appreciated!
6:14 pm on Sep 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



True, Google would not index reviews that are dynamically loaded in Ajax.

How many reviews per accommodation are you talking about? Obviously, tripadvisor and booking.com have many, if you do not have that many, you may also consider putting them on the same page, but in a (larger?) container with a (nicely designed) scrollbar.
6:21 pm on Sep 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Hi aakk9999

We have at least 50 reviews for each accommodation item. Some we have over 500..
7:22 pm on Sep 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



OK, in this case the scroll bar is not practical, too much review content for this.

I agree with you that it is unlikely that subsequent review pages will rank on their own merit.

In this case I think that showing x reviews on accommodation page and loading the rest using AJAX may be a better choice as reviews often have similar content and in this way you could avoid what could be seen as many pages with a very similar content.
12:39 pm on Sep 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Another method which has just come to light is the following. Any thoughts?

1. Have a single review URL which shows the last 50 reviews, call it:
travelsite.com/itemA/reviews.
(There will be AJAX that allows a user to page through reviews)

2. Introduce another URL which shows all the reviews on a single page:
travelsite.com/itemA/reviews/view-all

3. Set "travelsite.com/itemA/reviews/view-all" as the canonical (i.e rel=canonical) version on travelsite.com/itemA/reviews

Seems pretty clean, are there any problems with this?
5:31 pm on Sep 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I saw various solutions with "view all" page types, but you need to think what you are trying to achieve first, so that you can better decide which page is canonical and determine whether you need view-all page at all.

For example, I would ask myself the following questions:

- What is the purposes of view-all page? Is it for users or for Google?

- Where would view-all page be linked from within the site?

- Should the review page rank, which page would you like to rank, the last 50 reviews page or view all reviews page?

Depending on these answers, you can determine which page should be canonical and in fact whether you need view all page.

Where I am getting on is: If you canonicalise view-all reviews page to the last 50 reviews page, and the last 50 reviews page uses AJAX to show the visitor more and more (eventually all) reviews, then I do not see the point of view-all page - it will not rank (as it will have a canonical pointing to the 50 reviews page) and users are not using view-all page it as they can see all reviews on 50 review page using AJAX.
 

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