TripAdvisor Buys SinglePlatform For $51M From ConstantContact To Offset Google's SEO Roadblocks

TripAdvisor has acquired SinglePlatform, a listings management company that syndicates restaurant menus to search and directory sites online, for approximately $51 million in cash.

The company purchased SinglePlatform from ConstantContact, an Endurance International Group subsidiary. In an SEC filing, Endurance Group reported the companies completed the sale on Thursday.

The assets acquired include contracts, intellectual property and assumed liabilities, among other properties.

The goal is to help more than five million restaurants listed on TripAdvisor to attract diners and offer a better guest experience, the company said in a press release.

Some 93% of diners check menus online before choosing a place to eat, estimates TripAdvisor. SinglePlatform works with restaurants to publish and manage their menus and other information such as their business name, opening hours and contact information on main search and discovery sites like Google and Facebook.



Following the integration of SinglePlatform into TripAdvisor, restaurants will have an option to subscribe to the service and simultaneously update their menus across the web from the TripAdvisor management center.

Earlier this week, TripAdvisor announced that its subsidiary TheFork -- an online restaurant reservation platform -- had purchased smaller rival BookaTable, which The Michelin Guide owned, in order to consolidate online restaurant reservations in existing markets and expand into Austria, Germany, Norway, Finland, and the United Kingdom.

It has not been confirmed whether the acquisition was made in part to offset Google's own strategy, but it’s certainly on the mind of Steve Kaufer, TripAdvisor president and CEO, who noted “incremental SEO headwinds” from Google during the third-quarter 2019 earnings call in November.

“We think of it as how far down the page are we is our organic result,” Kaufer said during the earnings call. “And I think you’re seeing this across the industry as Google has gotten more aggressive. We’ve been predicting this of course for the past many years.”

For TripAdvisor, the goal is to help travelers find a better hotel and restaurant and make it more intuitive for users to plan an entire trip, as well as to help advertisers find consumers with a recently added display ad tool in its app.

“We’ve forecasted in general where we think SEO is going to go going forward and we don’t see any reason to think that the trends will be different in terms of Google continuing to take more and more space in the search results,” Kaufer said.

SEO in Google is a major strategy for TripAdvisor, and the exposure as a percentage of overall revenue is a “significant minority of our auction in revenue,” said Ernst Teunissen, TripAdvisor CFO, during the call.

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