This comment caught my eye in a Bloomberg publication by Dara Khosrowshahi, Expedia CEO:

"Google is an advertising platform and everything that we’ve seen of them is they’re going to continue being an advertising platform,’’ said Expedia Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi. "Google might let some searchers bypass Expedia by sending them straight to hotel and airline websites but the reality is Expedia, as a tech company, is much better set-up to work in Google’s universe to capture customers."

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RichardVRichardV
14 days ago

So: "Google might let some searchers bypass Expedia by sending them straight to hotel and airline websites but the reality is Expedia, as a tech company, is much better set-up to work in Google’s universe to capture customers."

It would be really cool to see an answer from Google on this. In 2014 I posted an "Open Letter to Google" [https://www.tnooz.com/article/google-open-letter-search-wilderness/] that got a serious amount of traction and its seems that the corporations views of Google are much the same, but is the worm turning on its limited big spenders?

Maybe Google realises that all these companies do is aggregate without care, whereas direct to the horse's mouth can give better experiences. Google can aggregate via search and monetise directly. Spreads the risk and increases Google loyalty, which its losing. A first page of big brands on search is worthless, why bother, just type the brand and become another clone.

Love them or hate them, they may be about to turn this business on its head!

powenpowen
14 days ago

That's a good point!

In laymen's terms: Why would Google want to continue to direct traffic to the top brands over and over again like Airbnb & Expedia?

Because consumers will eventually go direct to the brand. Which means Google will lose traffic and lose income from advertising.

They stand to gain more from direct bookings.

If true, surely they'd prefer to improve their existing technology like Trips & Places to aggregate properties better.... Essentially become an OTA themselves!

RichardVRichardV
13 days ago

In many ways they are already a reseller of OTA inventory. They charge them for top listings and also offer link through affiliate referral to bookings.

They are very aware of brand strength as we all are. Who types www.amazon.com, but how many people type amazon into Google and click the link?

The problem has always been how to monetise such disparate inventory and get paid. Open API connections, that start with pro suppliers and drop down to the general community will happen and then its a bun fight as a "non-price parity" war happens.

The maths/stats on Google would be worth seeing on OTA clicks vs Direct Hotel clicks, vs booking rev share income.

Google visions and company statements is always worth a read to: [https://www.google.co.uk/about/company/philosophy/]

and flies in the face of "opolies".

dannydanny
13 days ago

Perhaps Google makes more money through OTA Adsense than it would with small businesses, so they may like the current situation.

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