Google Moves into the Travel Market
In recent months, Google has been making big moves in the travel market - clearly looking for a piece of the travel cake. We've compiled a few examples of the ways Google is on the move.
Firstly, Google purchased ITA, flight information software, from a Cambridge, Massachusetts firm for $700 million.
Google now shows rates from 3rd party online travel agents in Google search results.
As it stands Google have no direct booking functionality, however, their ad revenue will increase by using 3rd party hotel rates on natural search results.
Google Hotel Finder
Although Google don't have direct booking functionality, they have just announced Google Hotel Finder. Google doesn't sell hotel rooms in this instance, just as they don't sell flights with their ITA software. They simply pull in rates and data from other online travel agency websites. Google Hotel Finder is an experiment and currently only available in the USA.
New Sleeker Google Places Format
Due to pressure from OpenTravel Alliance, Google have removed 3rd party reviews. The biggest improvement in the new format is the call to action sign encouraging Google users to leave a review. The new format is uncluttered compared to what they had before.
With a helping hand from Google, as it makes a move in the travel sector, SEOrs may see some revenue finding its way into the hands of 3rd party booking agents.
In the not so distant future, we expect to see an all-singing, all-dancing Google Platform that will take on the likes of Expedia, Travelsupermarket and Priceline. From a marketing perspective, it is likely we will see some SEO revenue moving to OTAs and PPC.