Whitey - 10:29 pm on Jul 28, 2011 (gmt 0)
It's a no brainer. Google owns the media real estate. It has access to most of the data. It will effect direct Google organic search, Adwords , Google Places, and affiliate systems by replacing Adsense in key verticals with meta search widgets.
Bye bye travel affiliate marketing via OTA's , hello affiliate marketing via Google. Over the next few months we'll see this strengthen and roll out. If Google can meta search , why would you need an OTA , especially with the integration with ITA Software.
Gradually, Google will introduce the chains to sell direct, bypassing OTA's. Maybe they can fast track it with buying a hotel travel switch company, such as Pegasus or one of the other direct channel management software systems. Rumours are rife on direct negotiations with US hotel chains providing supply as well. Again a no brainer.
Additionally, further down the track, when participation density has been achieved , expect business listing to be charged for as well. YELP was a huge business in most countries, and it now has a perfect place to reside. Imagine every hotel eventually paying for a place listing as well.
Replicate this across key verticals, and the next 5 years will see intermediaries replaced by Google, not just in travel , but in other areas too.
No suprises here as Google has been speaking with key business' for quite a while. Just wait for the next set of verticals.