21 Jan 2017

Is Google Flights fuelling a new global Metasearch Flight consolidation?

It is no secret that Metasearch business is a scale game.

In the quest for global domination, last November saw the 2nd biggest M&A Transaction in the Meta landscape history happening with Ctrips’ acquisition of Skyscanner for $1.74 Billion. 

A few weeks later, Skift reported rumours around Kayak shopping for a potential acquisition among European Meta leaders like Momondo.

The reason for this sudden rush might well be spurred by the increased interest of search giant Google in expanding its presence in the existing online travel ecosystem.

Last year Google Flights gained massive traction in the US market according to Google Branded Queries. Some new factors seem to underline this trend even further:


  1. Google Flights searches going through the roof lately:

January is traditionally the peak search season for travel in the US. Google trend charts shows a 22 point jump in search index vs December against a 15 point aggregated increase of the rest of competitors.

Last year at the same time Google flights was still lagging a few points behind Kayak. One year later, Google flights search index beats Kayak by a multiplier of 3.

Although Google brand queries do not reflect the actual traffic size of websites, such trends usually translate into actual traffic volumes, which might also explains why Kayak has announced beginning TV advertisement in the US after an 18th month pause.


2. Google Flight ads on airline brand searches?

In typical Google fashion, the search giant AB tested these last years different manners to integrate its flight product in flight related searches. Google Flights results gradually creeped into all type of search results combining the word “flight” with keywords such “cities, routes, cheap etc”.

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Source : Mario Gavira Director at (LinkedIn)

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