Travel Search Site UpTake (Formerly Kango) Launches In Public Beta


If you are looking for ideas for a family vacation, a pet-friendly hotel, or the perfect place for a romantic weekend, try travel search engine UpTake. It is geared only for travel and looks for keywords in destination descriptions and user comments across the Web that help it place results into different travel buckets. It can understand about one million different travel-related keywords and phrases. Even “girl getaway.”

uptake-icons.pngAfter coming out of stealth last fall (here’s my initial review) and changing its name from Kango to UpTake, today it is emerging out of private beta, so anyone can check it out. (The reason it changed its name was because it sold the URL to Hearst’s classifieds site Kaango, which wants it eventually as a redirect. The change avoids any future confusion, but I thought Kango was the better name).

Also, instead of just covering California and Hawaii, UpTake is offering national coverage for 400,000 hotels, which CEO Yen Lee claims is more than Expedia, TripAdvisor, or Yahoo Travel (where he used to be the general manager). UpTake crawls all of those sites and thousands of niche travel sites as well. Lee is also quickly moving to national coverage for destinations and activities.

Google already loves UpTake’s results. To see its semantic SEO magic at work, try searching for “pet friendly hotels gilroy” or “family hotels” and the name of any city in California. A result with a Kango URL will likely pop up near the top.