|Google ventures into travel|
This is a massive vertical that Google appears to be tweaking it's way into. This article appeared in the NY Times on a recent beta test :
Google is quietly wading into the world of travel with the launch of Google City Tours, a trip planning tool that seeks to make “holiday planning as easy as searching the Web.”
According to a description on Google Labs, the search engine’s experimental playground: “City Tours helps you identify points of interest and plan multi-day trips to most major cities. You just specify the location of your hotel and the length of your trip and City Tours will map out an itinerary for you.”
The tool is clearly in beta based on a test run. Typing in “Berlin” in the search box generated a two-day itinerary populated with only eight attractions (all museums), while “New York City” pulled up 21 attractions — mostly tourist traps like Times Square and Wall Street.
btw - the Google Labs link is [googlelabs.com...]
Even if it's not perfect , it kinda signals the direction Google wants to take in this key vertical.
Y/N/ thoughts ?
This will be bad for travel sites. They will lose traffic. I have travel site and this is not good information for me...
Google City Tours illustrates both the possibilities and the limitations of computer-generated content. And even if the finished product works better than the beta does, that doesn't mean it's a threat to travel sites. It just means travel sites will have another tool that they can use (along with Google Maps, Google Translate, Weather.com weather widgets, embedded YouTube videos, etc.) to broaden the range of information and services that they offer.
Also, if you look at it, the content is coming from SOMEWHERE. For the most part, Google is a content aggregator, not a content generator.
Instead of have 1 block of information for each destination, perhaps Google could have a mini-SERP of 5-10 pages related to that destination.
I noticed this beta is ranking #1/38M in the serps for "city tours"
I would expect in the future G will own #1 ranking for terms like "travel" "tour" etc. (ala "mail, "email", "maps")
|I would expect in the future G will own #1 ranking for terms like "travel" "tour" etc. (ala "mail, "email", "maps") |
Maybe and maybe not (depends on the topic), but if so, so what? If someone is looking to buy a sightseeing tour of New York City, for example, he'll learn fairly quickly that a Googue result for "new york city tour" isn't what he's looking for.
IMHO, the mission of Google Search hasn't changed with the introduction of new Google products or with the introduction of Google Universal Search. If Google Search results were to become nothing more than a series of Google listings, the product would suffer, and so would Google's share of the search market.