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Expedia Changes Up Its Hotel Search Results But It's 'Just a Test'

September 13, 2013 at 11:49 AM | by | ()

The other day when we were cruising Expedia for a hotel stay, we noticed something different with the site--the room rates were buried under one or two-word "reviews" of the property. Say what? Oh hell no. So we had to investigate.

Here is how the search results looked last week. Look at how teeny that rate is while the "Very Good" is bigger and bolder.

And here is how they used to look back in the spring.

When we inquired at Expedia what this was all about, we were told the following:

" Expedia began testing new search hotel search pages earlier this year. The Expedia teams are constantly testing pages to see what improves the user experiences and you likely encountered one of the new pages being tested."

Interestingly, when we checked back this morning, the results had reverted to the old format, thus backing up the statement about this being a test.

Call us old-school and/or price-conscious but we like seeing the rate first and foremost. After all, that's pretty much why we're hitting up Expedia--to find deals. Otherwise, we would just go book directly through the hotel.

Changing up the search results isn't the only new thing at Expedia. The company recently entered a "strategic marketing agreement" with Travelocity. That may sound alarming, but we spoke with a few insiders and essentially, this is a tech deal with Travelocity using Expedia's booking engine.

The "marketing agreement" won't begin until early next year but people are saying that both companies will remain independent of each other, and even, rivals.

We're a little skeptical of that last bit but as long as the lovable Roaming Gnome doesn't have to wear an Expedia patch on his shirt, we'll be ok.

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