Google Tests Cutting Online Booking Sites Out of the Adwords Auction

I wrote last week about Google’s new hotel finder.

The company continues to experiment with hotels – Mike Blumenthal has an image of hotel ads in the main search results that include a date selector, hotel prices, and the ability to book a room straight off the ads. It looks very similar to the hotel pricing and date selector that has been available for Google Places results in the organic listings.

The interesting thing about these results is that the ads are all either Adwords Express or Location Extensions. If you look at the image below, you’ll see that a good number of the ads are being run by some type of aggregator or search engine. On the page that Mike is showing (of the same search) none of these ads exist.

Regular Adwords Hotel Ads

Regular Adwords Hotel Ads

Google is cutting travel search sites out of the ad auction. They still receive traffic if they are among the options presented by Google when one clicks on a hotel price, but they are then reduced to a mere order taker, with no ability to garner repeat business due to special search features. They may not be surprised, as most realized Google was not a friend when it purchased ITA.

For images of the ads, visit Local Adwords Ads Dominate the Hotel SERPS – The new normal? Or a Test?

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