| 3:48 pm on Apr 25, 2008 (gmt 0)|
Note - we're making an exception to the
Google Forum Charter [webmasterworld.com] policy about
specific search terms just for this case.
Nice find. I thought we had a thread around here from when Google first started testing this kind of "One Box", but I can't find it now. It will be interesting to see if that stays around - in other words, if people use it.
| 5:22 pm on Apr 25, 2008 (gmt 0)|
Apparently Google has entered in to an affiliate type relationship with all of the travel suppliers listed on the search.
This is not good news for sites that specialize in flights and depend on Google for organic traffic.
| 5:29 pm on Apr 25, 2008 (gmt 0)|
I can't seem to dupliate the search for AA or Delta airlines. I wonder if it is just the smaller carriers or what.
| 5:36 pm on Apr 25, 2008 (gmt 0)|
The searches are not from the airlines directly. Terms such as "fly city name city name" return boxes with only departure and return dates. Visitors then choose their dates, click on the provider, all of which are larger travel sites, and then are sent to that providers site and presented with flights for the city name pair you originally searched for on the dates you picked.
| 5:46 pm on Apr 25, 2008 (gmt 0)|
I have noticed this too on many, many types of fly here to there searches. Also the top ten results are now all being taken over from these travel sites that seems Google is partnering with. It has hit me pretty hard on one site that's for sure.
| 5:57 pm on Apr 25, 2008 (gmt 0)|
risking this being edited out... I don't think this is just a search feature either.
|CheapTickets - Expedia - Hotwire - Orbitz - Priceline - Travelocity |
all of them lined up nicely as links with a brand new layout +
it ain't just your everyday semi-organic 'google find' either.
Look at those target URLs.
|http://travel-site.example.com/App/GoogleFlightsRedirect?city1=FAO (...) |
as travelin cat said, this is either Google signing with the biggest sites, or Google signing with the biggest sites.
Nice and unbalanced.
so...whatever happened to mentioning that this is actually an advertisement ?
it is, isn't it? sort of. or is this for the greater good of mankind and I'm seeing red again for no good reason? whatever, at least I have an excuse now as to why call off the expansion of a certain site with a certain feature related to this topic *pfft*
| 6:06 pm on Apr 25, 2008 (gmt 0)|
Yeh, interesting ID parameters in those redirects:
- fexp [flights experiment?]
- PLGOOGLECPC [cost per click?]
| 6:06 pm on Apr 25, 2008 (gmt 0)|
Cheesy little airplane graphic to attract even more attention as well.
| 7:12 pm on Apr 25, 2008 (gmt 0)|
I've found references online to this particular feature going back as far as John Batelle in 2005 [battellemedia.com]. Just enter two different cities that have airports - that seems to always trigger the flight OneBox.
|so...whatever happened to mentioning that this is actually an advertisement ? |
I cannot confirm anything other than an information partnership with those travel businesses - anyone find anything authoritative?
| 7:33 pm on Apr 25, 2008 (gmt 0)|
Is it just Google saying "here's some great resources" and then use their algo to serve up what they think are the best suppliers for those cities or are those suppliers paying for the privilege?
If they are paying, is there a way to be added? Would it be by how much cpc sites are willing to pay or is it some other sort of auction?
Finally if this was cpc or something similar, shouldn't that be clearly stated?
| 7:55 pm on Apr 25, 2008 (gmt 0)|
if it is cpc then yes i would think, like ours, theirs should be labeled too. would'nt want to confuse the general public now would we? big g, never ceases to amaze.
| 8:37 pm on Apr 25, 2008 (gmt 0)|
then... just in case - and for the record, I'll sum it up.
actually a business partnership and/or cpc advertising
|so...whatever happened to mentioning that this is |
the test of either or both, in and above their organic search results which they are trusted for/with
( I don't think CPC would work as it's brand names against each other - no numbers at all - so perhaps an affiliate partnership would make more sense, but who knows )
I thought about it, and can't really believe that Google doesn't get its cut - one way or another. Unless it's a test, which of course would be but the prelude to the actual business model.
whatever it is, it's a non-organic, hand selected set of simultaneous #1 results in a very high ROI market, unlabeled as such.
ironic to see that departments at Google, yet again, probably had no clue of what the other was up to... and/or to see a management making a decision that discredits the entirety of their rhethoric from A to Z.
I just checked my English/MSOfficeClipart/English dictionary and it turns out I was wrong. The Cheesy little airplane graphic *IS* in fact the universal sign of all the above business models. I'd also like to note that it brought the SERPs to life with its cheerful colors and... also, once I kept staring at it for a longer period it eventually turned into a face and winked back at me. [j/k ... off to lunch/dinner]
[edited by: Miamacs at 8:47 pm (utc) on April 25, 2008]
| 9:38 pm on Apr 25, 2008 (gmt 0)|
|I don't think CPC would work as it's brand names against each other - no numbers at all - so perhaps an affiliate partnership would make more sense, but who knows |
In fact I know of at least 3 different web sites that offer all of those providers (and many more) on a cpc basis. Visitors go to one of these sites, they enter their itinerary and then choose which of the providers they wish to get results from. All of the providers have their logos plainly in view next to each other on the page.
One of these sites allow you to compare up to 18 different providers against each other.
| 10:06 pm on Apr 25, 2008 (gmt 0)|
LHR - JFK but omits the major carriers - just the consolidators/ agents
BTW, notice main link goes to expedia- M$ owned....
| 11:21 am on Apr 26, 2008 (gmt 0)|
|In fact I know of at least 3 different web sites that offer all of those providers |
and that this too is actually cpc is given away with the redirect URLs as Andy pointed out...
I was just thinking out loud about the model, so I will rely on your insight on this one ... I never had any such travel/flight cost comparison sites under my care. ( which is a relief right now )
| 11:36 am on Apr 26, 2008 (gmt 0)|
|and that this too is actually cpc is given away with the redirect URLs as Andy pointed out |
Not quite - it shows that the destination URLs are supplied by the sites themselves (rather than spidered by Google) and that at least one site involved is tracking this in their analytics alongside CPC traffic.
It doesn't say anything definite about why those links are there or whether payment is involved.
| 1:16 pm on Apr 26, 2008 (gmt 0)|
As Ted pointed out earlier, this has been going on for at least 3 years. If a site has not been hurt but this by now, it will not be hurt at all, we are just discussing it now.
| 5:03 pm on Apr 26, 2008 (gmt 0)|
'k got it.
( I really don't have anything in that area so I wouldn't know, but neither fact would anser the questions to the display on the SERPs )
cpc or not, new or not, what I don't get is how this can go w/o labeling it as non-organic in one way or another. it has to be some kind of a partnership/advertisement/special program... and not search results.
| 6:52 am on Apr 29, 2008 (gmt 0)|
I called Google to ask about this (I have a few contacts inside the system). One person told me this was something they are trying out and the results are based only on good seo. It have existed in the US for a coulpe of years, and now they ar trying it out in the UK as well.
Another person told me this feature is for Google partners only, and have nothing to do with good SEO. Not good, not good... Partners of Google now can pay their way to the top of organic search results? I am not shocked, but a little disappointed in Google and the search market in general...