Google Hotel’s Industry Domination – Key Takeaways for Travel eCommerce

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If you’re like 112.5 million other Americans, you traveled during the holidays last year. This year, even more people are expected to take planes, trains, and automobiles in December. How will you book your hotel? Chances are, you’ll do it through Google.

We took a look at how much impact the new Google Hotels tool has had on the travel industry in our special report, Travel Trends: A Close Look at How Google Hotels is Reshaping the Digital Travel Ecosystem. Here are some takeaways.

Google’s New Hotel Search in a Nutshell

Search for “[city] hotel” on Google, and you’ll see a widget like the one below. This is Google’s ploy to pull you to its Hotel page, which includes a map with hotel prices, special deals, and a built-in search capability.

While traffic to the site was “just” 10 million a month at the start of 2018, it has jumped to 35 million unique monthly visits.

So how does Google make money? It charges a commission on each booking through the site.

Google’s Impact on Online Travel Agencies

As you’d guess, the rise in Google Hotels is hitting online travel agencies (OTAs) hard. In 2019, Expedia saw half the growth rate it had seen the year before. The traffic for Booking.com is down 9.3%. Sites like Hotels.com, Priceline.com, and Trivago.com saw double-digit declines in 2019. There’s no denying Google’s impact here.

TripAdvisor isn’t taking the battle lightly. Still the most-visited travel site, it subsists on its reviews and user-generated content, which rank highly in search engines. Still, its growth is declining.

Lessons Learned from Google Hotels

No matter what industry you’re in, you can take some lessons away from Google commanding the travel industry. Whether it’s Google or another competitor, you can’t afford to rest on your success, particularly when it comes to being found in search on luck. Yes, Google has a huge advantage in the hotel space, however, it is imperative that competitors to the search mogul continue to invest in both organic and paid search to ensure that customers can find them.

Data should be a part of your arsenal. Understanding what search strategies and key terms are driving traffic and conversions is essential. 

Jumpshot data can help. Jumpshot provides insights into consumers’ online journeys by measuring every search, click and buy from more than 150 marketplaces across 1,600 categories, including Amazon, Google, Netflix, and Walmart. Major brands and agencies such as Google, Yelp, and TripAdvisor leverage Jumpshot to help make better data-driven decisions to drive more traffic, optimize channels, improve marketing ROI, and sell more online.

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