I travel a lot. I have to so that I can make sure to check out all the best spots for my readers before they spend their hard-earned money on a family vacation or romantic weekend. While in Chicago for the Blogher09 Conference, I was so excited to accidentally find myself in the Microsoft #MicroSpa. I stumbled upon the Bing people and most importantly, Bing Travel.
Bing Travel has been a large part of discussion among travel writing groups, including Tom Brosnahan’s Google Group “Travel Writers”. I watched the discussion go back and forth a few weeks ago, regarding the travel aspect of Bing and just exactly how it would benefit those searching for travel. But before I actually realized that Bing Travel was there, I was lured in by a comped massage.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I managed to find myself in the corner of a room full of people, in the middle of a conference of 2000 blogging women, yet still able to find a Zen moment as the massage therapist tried to get the knot out of my neck. How did I get that dratted knot? I received it from trying to haul away all the swag at Blogher, like a shoplifting fool. That in itself is another story altogether. For the moment, I was content to stretch my face to ten times its size as I let a little stress leave my upper body.
When the massage was over, I dragged my rubbery body over to a rep that could actually explain Bing Travel to me and how it would prove useful to consumers. Of course, I did mention that there was no need to pay Tony Bourdain all that money when I would be glad to appear in their commercials!
About Bing Travel
They call themselves “the smart travel search site that helps you buy with confidence”. I did actually try a search for Baton Rouge and New Orleans while in the demo, but at the time, the information was sparce. This is understandable, given the somewhat newness of the product. Usually the Southern US falls after major destinations such as New York City and Los Angeles in the hierarchy of things. You can learn more about Bing Travel on their About Page.
How It Works
This is what I really wanted to know. How does Bing Travel work and what makes it useful for me, as a consumer? Bing Travel searches multiple travel sites. That in itself isn’t exactly groundbreaking, as many travel sites have now relegated to searching multiple outlets to get relevant information for their readers. How does it affect me as an online publisher? Well, I’m still trying to figure that one out.
What sold me on this product? – The Farecast Price Predictor. Bing Travel acquired technology from Farecast, which actively predicts when airfare prices are dropping or falling and helps the user determine if they should purchase now or wait until later. The statistics according to a third-party audit are that the product is accurate 74.5% of the time.
Better for research – Bing allows the user to hover over an area in their search results to find out a little bit more information about a webpage before clicking something that may not be exactly what they are looking for. My mom checked it out and said that the popup annoys her. It didn’t bother me as I appreciate the time-saving aspect as a consumer. As a website/blog publisher, I would prefer the click-through (which results in page views), but if my content appears high in the search query, then I’m totally excited about that. Beggars can’t be choosers.
Bing Travel is adding new content to their search engine every day. I just queried “Baton Rouge” and was able to find relevant links to where I live. This information wasn’t available four days ago on their site, which proves they are actively working to provide a quality product over at Bing Headquarters in Seattle, WA. The only thing Bing is missing? – A travel writing mom who blogs as a contributor…….
Have you checked out Bing Travel? What do you like or dislike about the product and has it helped you with travel planning?
Shannon takes no offense to companies trying to bribe her with massages and Champagne just to get her to check out a product. However, just because she drinks your libations doesn’t mean she will like your product. She did appreciate learning about Bing Travel and sharing some Louisiana Love with everyone at Blogher09.