INNSTAR.COM
B&B Guidebook Review


BedandBreakfast.com
http://www.bedandbreakfast.com

Formerly the Bed & Breakfast Channel, formerly Inns&Outs

RATING: 5 INNSTARS
    Date last reviewed:
    12/15/05
    Score: 90

Area Covered:
North America (US plus Canada, Caribbean), plus many other countries.
Listing Type/Number:
About 5,500 in US/Canada. Detailed listings consist of a lengthy page with good detailed info & 1 or more pictures; most have hotlinks to the Inn's own site. Inn pages have link to detailed maps to inn location.
Description:
From home page, have multiple search options at top, plus direct geographic search in middle.
  1. Select geographic search by clicking on world region (map or text), get US map & list. Select state from map/list showing regions. Select region for more detailed map showing cities and text showing which have listings and which have featured inns. Within city, shows featured in order of detail (randomly sorted within detail level); shows inns with basic contact only in box below featured list. City page also has options to show nearby cities with approximate distance or vicinity search out to 100 miles. If city selected has no member inns, shows nearby inns.
  2. Search at top center is a short text search; select geography, inn name or innkeeper name, then desired text. If enter city name (even if misspelled), result is a list of cities and regions with that name (e.g., Springfield IL, MA, MO, OH, etc.). Select city to get results as above. Also works if you enter a zip code where there's a listing or a major attraction. Works similarly if enter inn or innkeeper name.
  3. Advanced Search provides a drop-down from any page, including by special needs, accept guide's gift certificates, specials, etc.
    • Selecting "Amenities" Search allows you to select any 3 from drop down lists of major amenities, plus a geographic limiter. Results are limited to inns with higher-level listings.
    • "Special needs" lets you locate inns by your personal needs to find a B&B that pet-friendly, family-friendly, wheelchair accessible, etc.
  4. City page has map pinpointing inn locations; mouseover provides property name and link to inn's listing.
  5. Selecting a "top destination" city from the right side of the home page takes you to that city's listings.
  6. Lists inns with "hot deals" (last minute discounts) at appropriate geographic pages; sends these to requesting subscribers.
Quality Assurance:
Solicited reviews from guests for a period of time, but discontinued after innkeeper complaints; planning to reinstate altered version of this function in 2006. Lists affiliations on inn pages, but doesn't indicate if inn is inspected; however, association page indicates if its program qualifies. Inns recommended in newsletter have been personally visited by editors.
Other:
Uses own booking engine. Also has links to other on-line availability/reservation systems. Has gift certificates, recipes, newsletter, specials, virtual tours, last minute discounts. Has message board (not heavily used). Has links to 26 state and numerous local associations. Has "vote for favorite inns" program. Guide cooperated in facilitating review and verifying data.

Innkeeper Info:
  • Promotion: Substantial "pay-per-click" presence on various search engines, with reasonable regular search engine presence. States: "Hired independent search engine tracking firm (Current Wisdom) to provide three separate search engine placement comparisons to BBOnline, BnBFinder, Lanier. BedandBreakfast.com out-ranked all competition, in many cases by a wide margin, on over 1800 randomly selected geographic/BB terms. Also does print media ads for guide and has an active B&B public relations program resulting in over 500 media placements per year. Free access to Innkeepers' Resource Library, with hundreds of educational articles" Provides B&B content to numerous major travel sites. Sells gift certificates.
  • Rates: 1 picture/150 words/50 data fields $99; $229 for 5 pics, e-mail & hotlink plus preferred placement; $339-$559 for multi-picture, multi-page site ($339 is minimum for amenity search). Self-updatable, provides detailed stats. Has extra cost "bid for placement" feature. $50 extra for availability link. On-line reservations is a commission service.
  • Contact: (512)322-2710; or email office@bedandbreakfast.com.
  • Comments: Guide places Google® ads on all pages down to inn level. States "Property-level Google ads are filtered to prevent competitive placements. An exhaustive list was put in place in the spring of 2005, so that no ads with any terms like "B&B, Inn, Suite, Hotel, Lodging, etc." show up on any property pages. Any ads that slip through are promptly removed". However, despite this comment by the owner, innkeepers report that such ads continue to appear.
  • Blog links: Innkeeper B&B Directory Reference.
    Web Presence Evaluation:
  • No. 2 of 78 guides evaluated by Inntelligent.com (5 star).
  • Composite of INNSTAR/Inntelligent ratings: 10/10.
  • Google® page rank of home page: 7/10.
  • My B&B Results:
    • "Silver" Listing provided 6.7% (351) of my website's guide-sourced unique visitors Jan-Dec 2005.
    • Listing provided 3 proven guest-nights at my 1-unit B&B.

  • Ratings Summary (see criteria for details)
    A (of 20) - 20
    B (of 20) - 19
    C (of 30) - 28
    D (of 10) - 9
    E (of 5) - 2
    F (of 10) - 7
    G (of 5) - 5

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