What could it be the motivation behind some travel websites that dedicates a huge section to list all cities they are present?

Here are some examples:

  • booking.com
  • tripadvisor.com.br
  • trivago.com.br

I'm assuming its for SEO reasons, because they far from the top and are clearly not readable?

Or is there any chance users read all those cities and really click on them?

Any thoughts?

  • 1
    Not sure what you mean by clearly not readable, I can read them just perfect and I use glasses
    – Devin
    Aug 25, 2016 at 16:43
  • Sorry, I wasn't clear. I meant that by showing a huge list it seems very unlikely to me that one will feel compelled to click just by reading the names. gogobot.com for instance, has an even bigger list. Aug 25, 2016 at 17:05
  • I would think that list is useful because I would be able to use ctrl+f, but surely that's not their intention.
    – Heitor
    Aug 25, 2016 at 17:28

1 Answer 1


So, you would hide that long and tedious list inside a drop down menu or under a text box search?

Well, that's the difference between an objetive search and just browsing. When I see that list I think three things:

  • look how complete this website is
  • look how many places I can go
  • look how few places I've been to, definitly I need to travel more

Sometimes the user's eye can spot a place that they've heard about but that they wouldn't remember the exact name or wouldn't remember to search specifically for that place.

Even though I think a SEO reason is a good hypothesis, it is also the same principle of showing most famous places with the pictures, which probably you agree they should be doing.

For example, you don't ask for the waiter what plates with chicken are available in the restaurant, you want to see all the options in the menu.

To make a long story short: they're just selling.

  • 1
    You win answer of the day: "they're just selling" 😄 Aug 26, 2016 at 17:57
  • I disagree. Huge lists may trigger cognitive overload in many eyes. Personally, I hate long menus, and smart restauranteurs get it down to a single, highly-curated page. I'm fairly certain those links-to-city-landing-pages are there for SEO only. They will be crawlable and webcrawlers will find city names in their titles and perhaps descriptive text as well near the top. If the goal were to cross-sell alternative booking-cities to visitors, a booking site could accomplish this in much more compelling ways for a human (photo carousel, etc...) Sep 14, 2016 at 15:45

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