Google’s Growing Impact on Travel in : New Skift Research

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The meta-search wars are coming to an end and Google seems to be winning

Seth Borko

The travel industry was front and center when Alphabet, Google’s parent company, announced its first-quarter results on Tuesday evening. Philipp Schindler, senior vice president and chief commercial officer, pointed to the travel sector as the second largest contributor to the growth of Google’s advertising business. In the first quarter of this year, Schindler reported, travel search activity was even higher than in the first quarter of 2019, long before the pandemic took hold.

Travel resumes. And “what is our Google strategy” is once again a key question every travel manager should ask. As the travel industry rebuilds, Skift Research revisits this critical topic. We identify five big open questions about Google’s role in travel that arose before and during the pandemic.

The key questions for Google and Metasearch

  1. Can online travel agencies use the pandemic to reset their relationship with Google?
  2. Can travel metasearch branch out beyond advertising on booking sites?
  3. Can Google integrate hotel brands into its metasearch platform?
  4. Can travel-specific metasearch beat Google?
  5. What is the future of online travel in a Google world?

With 2022 the year travel resumes, Skift Research thinks we can begin to answer the questions. This report will dig deeper into each question, but in short, we believe Google’s influence over the travel industry has only grown during the pandemic and the search platform is now firmly entrenched at the top of the industry. travel marketing funnel. The past decade has seen fierce battles for market share and user growth. But now we think the metasearch wars are over; Google is winning.

What you will learn from this report

  • How much the travel industry spends on Google.
  • How Google Travel’s share of user traffic has changed during the pandemic.
  • The different approaches Expedia, Booking, and Airbnb take to spending on Google.
  • The influence of Google Travel on hotel and airline bookings.
  • Why we think the online travel industry needs to rethink its consumer value proposition.

This is the latest in a series of reports and data products that Skift Research publishes to help you analyze the biggest trends in the travel industry. Tap into the opinions and ideas of our seasoned network of employees and contributors. Over 200 hours of desk research, data collection and/or analysis go into each report.

By subscribing to Skift Research, you’ll have access to our entire vault of conducted reports on topics ranging from technology to marketing strategy to in-depth dives on top travel brands. You will also be able to access our exclusive Skift Travel Health Index, Skift Travel Company Tracker, Hotel Tech Benchmark and data from our regular traveler surveys.