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A question regarding search results, the use of other platforms and copyright issues!

#1

Hey folks!!

Things have been a bit slower round these ways this month and I wonder if it’s due to the rise in popularity of Airbnb in the city I live in … when I first started hosting a little over 1 year ago there were about 250 air listings in my city - now there is in excess of 1000+! And yet despite this, I still appear top (or very close to the top) in the search results when I put in my city (I don’t use the ‘nearby’ option). However, this is only when using my own computer or smartphone. When I use someone else’s phone or a different IP address, I’ve noticed I appear further down the search results … HAS ANYONE ELSE NOTICED THIS? Could it be that Air is flattering us into thinking our listing appears higher up the search results then it actually does :scream:?

My next question is regarding the use of other platforms…

I have heard quite negative things about most of the others, however, WIMDU intrigues me … it seems to have a good, sound-minded community similar to that of Airbnb (just not as popular) - and best of all - no fees!!

So has anyone else used Wimdu and how do they find it?

And lastly - the pictures on my air listing were done professionally by one of their photographers - and have the air stamp in the corner … they look great!! Would it be wrong / illegal to re-use these pics and simply crop out the watermark :imp:??

#2

Don’t use their photos on other sites. It is a violation of copyright law. They are as much a benefit to Air as they are to you.

We had about 50 nights booked through HA last year. Only one booking (7 days) of that was a troublesome guest, but that is because they didn’t read the listing. They tend to provide longer bookings. FK provided about 4 weeks worth of bookings, but their communication system is quite restrictive. We just made up a page for Wimdu last month, but haven’t seen any movement. It took almost 2 weeks for one of their staff to review and approve the listing. They seem to try to drive prices to the bottom, but that might be a necessary bullet to bite to get a few reviews over there.

#3

True, don’t use their photos on other sites (unless they are ones you took)… Wmdu is good but unsophisticated. Have sent me lots of good solo travelers but the platform is funky. Flip key is absolutely terrible and I cannot recommend them. They charge your guests up to 13%. Bad policies. And all their Customer service is in India.

#4

It’s also a bit strange how the same company is running both FK and VHR, but they don’t cross-list.

#5

I’ve listed on wimdu and have had some nice interactions with people that have booked this summer - you are more likely, though, to receive requests from non-English speakers. Not to much of a problem, but a bit more time consuming.

#6

You have to make sure you LOG OUT of your account and then switch to incognito to search.

I created an account on Wimdu. It took two weeks for them to verify the listing. I used my air photos and cropped out the water mark. Been on there two months and nothing. There suggested price for my room was very low!

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#7

Yes! I use Incognito to search for how I’m doing in my search rankings. This really helps me decide how to price my listing so I don’t undercut myself too much trying to fill a one-day gap.

#8

Well, that provided quite a shock! Someone has entered the market with a room at ~ $20. Everything else is a minimum of 3 times that rate. I don’t see how that could even be worth the time if they actually have a license from the county and are paying taxes. At some point, you’re crossing a line into paying guests to stay with you.

#9

Maybe they are just trying to get bookings to get reviews?

I did lower my price on Wimdu for that purpose. I’m very happy with air at this time but don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket - I’d like to build up some reviews on Wimdu as well. I think my first Wimdu guest comes in March - we’ll see how it goes! So far he’s been super friendly and communicative, which I like a lot!

#10

Is it a shared room, like bunk beds?

#11

Unfortunately, no. It’s a private 1br/1ba.

#12

Could be a fake listing. Sounds too good to be true.

#13

A solo traveler? That’s what I get through Wimdu! let us know how it goes.

#14

These are some great tips, you guys - things have seriously picked up in the last few days so might continue to stick solely with air for now (also, I have instant enabled so don’t want to risk any double bookings) and thanks for the incognito heads-up - that was an eye-opener :dizzy_face: - not as high ranking as they’d have you believe … anyone else find that strange, it’s like pandering to the hosts ego?

#15

yeah lol when I search for myself when I’m logged on or even logged out and not on incognito I show up first or near first, which Is not the case when I search using incognito

#16

Hi Kitty,

It’s not really pandering to the hosts’ egos. That’s how search engines and computers work. For example, when you search on Google, you’ll see results from people you’re connected with on Google+ (assuming that you’re signed into a Google service at the time).

This makes sense really - the logic is that if you’re searching for something like ‘Italian restaurant’ you’re more likely to want to see a recommendation from someone you know.

To save time when searching, your computer is aware of what you’ve looked at before so it ‘tailors’ the results to what it ‘thinks’ you want. This applies to search engines like Google and those on sites like Airbnb. So big brother is watching us :slight_smile:

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#17

Aha! Well, that clears that one up - thanks, Jaquo ;-)!

I wonder what factors do go into how you appear in the search results - Air has never released this info, right? My guess is it’s a number of factors (primarily how lucrative your listing is proving to be) but also new listings seem to get promoted to the top also…

#18

@Kittyp - that’s what I’m trying to figure out too! But as far as I can tell, having verified photographs and instant book give you a boost in listings. I’m pretty sure that good reviews do too.

I think I read somewhere (here at this forum, maybe?) that your flexibility counts too. For example, a listing that has a one day minimum and no max would be placed higher than one with a seven day minimum and a 14 day max, if that makes sense. The more flexible listing therefore is more attractive to a greater number of guests. Maybe things like pet-friendly and kid-friendly add to the flexibility factor?

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