|Google To Acquire Travel Assets, Frommers, From John Wiley & Sons|
| 3:52 pm on Aug 13, 2012 (gmt 0)|
Google To Acquire Travel Assets, Frommers, From John Wiley & Sons [reuters.com]
|John Wiley & Sons Inc announced that it intends to explore opportunities to sell a number of its consumer print and digital publishing assets in its Professional/Trade business as they no longer align with the Company`s long-term business strategy. Those assets include travel (including the well-known Frommer`s brand), culinary, general interest, nautical, pets, crafts, Webster`s New World, and CliffsNotes. On August 10, 2012, Wiley entered into a definitive agreement to sell all of its travel assets, including all of its interests in the Frommer's brand, to Google. |
| 7:39 pm on Aug 13, 2012 (gmt 0)|
The metamorphosis from search engine to content provider continues.
| 8:22 pm on Aug 13, 2012 (gmt 0)|
That may turn out to be a lot of travel data Google will now own.
| 1:44 am on Aug 14, 2012 (gmt 0)|
What is Google's strategy in travel? And why?
Does this send a signal that it is prepared to enter any vertical it wants. ( I recall an entry in the restaurant directory business a short while ago )
| 2:00 am on Aug 14, 2012 (gmt 0)|
|Those assets include travel, culinary, general interest, nautical, pets, crafts, Webster`s New World, and ... |
Got to fill those newly acquired TLDs with content I suppose. Easiest way is to gobble them up.
| 8:23 am on Aug 14, 2012 (gmt 0)|
I don't see why Google wants to go deeper into content generation and maintenance.
| 2:51 pm on Aug 14, 2012 (gmt 0)|
Say goodbye to small and middle size travel sites. The Walmart of the internet continues on its quest to take over or put out of business any competition. The idea is you never have to leave Google. The only way any company will show up in search results is to pay. When you search you will get a Google content site or a sites advertising with Google. Cars, airline tickets, hotels, toilet paper, diapers, Google will or already has its hands in them all.
| 3:00 pm on Aug 14, 2012 (gmt 0)|
"Say goodbye to small and middle size travel sites."
No, no, not worth the hassle - those already occupy only niches. It is the big ones that could fear the new competitor. But I wonder what the plans of the Almighty Google really are...
| 3:24 pm on Aug 14, 2012 (gmt 0)|
i dont think google are trying to outdo the big travel sites, they just want to insert themselves as a middleman between them and the customer.
can you imagine google becoming a travel company, actually offering deals direct with the hotels and airlines? thats never going to happen. so they cant compete with the big travel sites directly.
google just wants to provide a load more travel info so the user sticks around, and learns what they want, before sending them on to the travel provider. those kind of people are much more useful, because they are more ready to buy. and google can charge more for the adverts.
what really winds me up, is how they wrap all these kind of things up as "the future of search". and give them exciting sounding titles like "knowledge graph". but what is new about it? the info is already out there. its not new. all that google is doing is merging it into their exisiting platform, so people can see it in one place. its just PR, which people fall for, and get excited about.
| 3:36 pm on Aug 14, 2012 (gmt 0)|
Tripadvisor and Yelp seem to be right in the center of their scope, with small and medium sites getting splash damage. If you cant buy then, kill them :)
| 3:50 pm on Aug 14, 2012 (gmt 0)|
So all Google has to do now is pick up a couple of more content verticals, outsource its search to Bing -- and it'll be Yahoo!
| 4:34 pm on Aug 14, 2012 (gmt 0)|
|So all Google has to do now is pick up a couple of more content verticals, outsource its search to Bing -- and it'll be Yahoo! |
Well, that's my first drink of the evening, all over my keyboard :)
| 9:25 pm on Aug 14, 2012 (gmt 0)|
This will be another fail. Other travel businesses don't just roll over, they compete. And travel is super competitive, and I doubt Google has the ability to compete with such a large, powerful, competitive , highly niched ,infrastructure already in place. They can beat up on a yelp, a weak yahoo, etc. They tried Trip Adviser but haven't put a dent in their earnings; they tried ITA, and haven't accomplished much.
Google wants to enter the travel niche because the advertising revenue is one of the largest online. A lot of individual hotels are becoming direct advertisers with high ad spend. They're selling $100+ per night hotel room, Direct “Minus an average 10% middle man fee”, so the spend potential is huge, and Google wants a way to get in front of that market. I'm in the Travel niche, and users rarely if ever choose a hotel from a Search Engine Result, or Google Places. They want detailed info "related to their specific trip, event, and time of the year" and they want reviews from past guest.
So Google is trying to find a way to get content answering those questions in front of user.
But one problem, Travel is a Niche of a Niche, of niche, that's Location, Season, Age, Status, etc… niched LMAO. It's very very segmented, and is made up for a lot small focused niche sites, and travel agents sending booking directly to large travel sites as Affiliates. Even the travel sites themselves are usually the last destination after a customer searches their niche, check reviews, and then make a booking.
Google thought putting hotel and flight in the SERP would do it, No luck. Try tried to #*$! Trip Advisor Reviews, but Trip Advisor shut it down, Now their trying to purchase reviews, but they are still missing the content, and understanding of the various niche which can be created using an Algorithm, or purchased or farmed out.
Another Fail for Google.
| 5:56 am on Aug 15, 2012 (gmt 0)|
Some enlightenment's arrived. Just reviewed the various news sources for views & opinions, and given my interpretation of the overall synopsis :
- this is a small acquisition @ around $25m . Bargain
- principle targets in travel content acquisition , YELP , TripAdvisor , OTA's , Groupon via a quality , proprietary platform leveraged over the most powerful search brand aka Google
- principle extension / complimentary strategies in other content acquisition, like restaurants etc. lifestyle / social / Google local
- potential financial strategies in weakening middlemen that supply intermediary content to their own advertising for the ourposes of raising Adword revenue; lowering acquisition value by migrating revenue share of flow onto Google's platform - specifically YELP , TripAdvisor and Groupon ( maybe Groupon regret not having sold out to Google , but Expedia must be rubbing their hands at exiting TripAdvisor in a timely manner ... they must have seen the writing on the wall )
I mean, folks like Groupon , YELP and Tripadvisor are largely dependent on exposure through Google. When you take out the key verticals of Google's focus, they loose a lot of traction and financial muscle. Their content becomes superseded.
It looks to me as though Google will march on to own every business listing on the planet by creating value in every major vertical on the planet. Ultimately, Google's dominance of digital distribution must continue to motivate regulators to enable a breakdown of the dominance - but how. This is a lawyers festival, so hard to define in law, and Google knows it has time on it's side, while the digital marketing World becomes enslaved in it's web.
Simply, Google chooses what it publishes with it's assets firmly spidered in at the centre, which effectively provides outlying control of the World's search data in key verticals, like travel, restaurants and local. All Brands , large and small - and this deal indicates it won't cost much to do it.
So where does that leave folks building fancy UI's and building content/UGC for local, travel etc. They're fast about to become irrelevant I'd think.
It's back to running real business and leaving the digital marketing search distribution side of the business to Google. They continue to strengthen or control the digital brand access.
| 6:13 am on Aug 15, 2012 (gmt 0)|
"But I wonder what the plans of the Almighty Google really are... "
not difficult to figure out, buy all possible profitable niches...from travel, car, pet, cooking, books, music, dvd's, games, to health, compare sites and wikis....and finally even WW ....lol the last one was a joke...since there wont be any webmasters around to complain about algo changes....
| 6:20 am on Aug 15, 2012 (gmt 0)|
"Try tried to #*$! Trip Advisor Reviews, but Trip Advisor shut it down"
Wonder what stops Google to cut the life support of Trip advisor (with a clinical death in organic results by adjusting its algo ?)
| 8:10 am on Aug 15, 2012 (gmt 0)|
@spreporter - nothing stops them, but it won't be sudden or soon IMO . This is going to take time to get right [ if ever ] - because not all of their strategies work out. But the intent is shaping up. Make no mistake, Google will get there , one day.
I just don't see the investment at grass roots SEO going on as much with all this FUD. Best to focus on core business with overall digital enablement over brand, rather than Google, or you'll be left bare. Business has to stay relevant in what it does best, and digital publication isn't really a sustainable business model in the large verticals anymore. It's more sophisticated than that and anything with a technical edge can be overtaken.
It would be interesting to see how many acquisitions and projects actually sustain at Google as a statistic. I bet it's not a large proportion.
| 3:28 pm on Aug 15, 2012 (gmt 0)|
|Google chooses what it publishes with it's assets firmly spidered in at the centre |
Yep, Google has always said that it didn't want to be a portal like Yahoo. That's not quite correct, it simply doesn't want to *look* like Yahoo and simply incorporates its verticals in "universal search."
| 4:01 pm on Aug 15, 2012 (gmt 0)|
Next... Angies-List and an instant reach into almost every local services business pocket in the USA.
| 7:40 pm on Aug 15, 2012 (gmt 0)|
I just get the feeling Google is deliberately out to hurt folks like TA and other key brands in the travel vertical. It's almost as if they are raising their results in the SERP's, artificially raising their revenue and Adwords through put, on;y to drop them significantly at a time of convenience. There's some unholy alliance going on - i just can't quite pin it, since these big players supply such a lot of Ad revenues to Google in the interim, yet are under threat.
| 6:49 am on Aug 16, 2012 (gmt 0)|
"almost as if they are raising their results in the SERP's".
Artificially maybe as insofar as newly acquired products become part of a strong family, which boosts their ranking - but as far as manually improved results, I have seen no indication for that.
| 10:13 am on Aug 16, 2012 (gmt 0)|
@wolfadeus - do you mean you haven't noticed TA and YELP occupying multiple organic slots over the last year or so? This is what i mean by the artificial boost. Why specifically raise those multiple positions, when Google won't likely hold them down the track. They are also not usually good for users in multiple quantities. Why?
There seems to be a business strategy associated with it in my view.
Get folks used to content that it will replace with it's own assets maybe. Y/N?
| 5:00 am on Aug 17, 2012 (gmt 0)|
Eric E. Schmidt said back in 2010 when he was Google’s chief exec that Google was “careful to define a line where we don’t cross into content” and wanted to remain a “neutral platform for content and applications.” Guess that strategy got thrown out the window.
| 6:25 am on Aug 17, 2012 (gmt 0)|
@alvin123 's quote :
|However, by being drawn further into publishing or featuring its own content, at the same time as search, Google is taking risks that it used to shy away from. |
In 2010 Eric Schmidt, then its chief executive and now its chairman, said the firm was “careful to define a line where we don’t cross into content”.
That creed is now apparently being abandoned across the business, with Google now effectively serving as a backer for YouTube video producers and, in London, even building them a studio to make more professional clips.