Google Travel Search Is Unrecognizable as Advertising Dries Up - Yahoo Finance

Google Travel Search Is Unrecognizable as Advertising Dries Up - Yahoo Finance

Google Travel Search Is Unrecognizable as Advertising Dries Up - Yahoo Finance

Posted: 25 Mar 2020 12:45 PM PDT

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Google Travel Search Is Unrecognizable as Advertising Dries Up

Free links from travel companies are now appearing dramatically higher in Google Search on desktop and mobile — but it isn't because regulators have clamped down on the search engine or Google has reformed its advertising-tilted business practices.

The dearth of travel advertising because of the coronavirus pandemic has made Google's pages look almost unrecognizable. For example, Google's one-box of hotel search results, wth its maps and reviews directing consumers right into Google's own travel business, is now the highest search result in many cases.

With travel ads largely missing from Google Search, the silver lining is that organic links from the likes of Tripadvisor,, and Expedia are newly visible right elbow the "fold" on desktop, and on the second page in Google results on mobile.

Get the Latest on Coronavirus and the Travel Industry on Skift's Liveblog

To appreciate the depth of Google's changes in search, consider this screenshot from 2015 depicting a search for hotels in its headquarter city, Mountain View, California. The first three paid text ads on the left are from Expedia,, and, and below that is the Google one-box of search results that take users into Google's own travel pages. (Google discontinued the right-hand rail of ads in 2016.)

For travel companies dependent on search engine optimization, or maximizing their free links in Google, they are seeing their positions rise in Google's search results. In this next screen grab of a search for hotels in Mountain View, California, performed Tuesday, you'll see there are no paid advertisements at the top of page, which is now headed by boxed hotel listings leading into Google's own travel business universe..

Beneath the Google one-box of search results are free search results from Tripadvisor,, and, as seen in the next screenshot. Before the coronavirus outbreak, these free results might have been relegated to appearing in online travel purgatory, namely the third page or screen of results on desktop and mobile.

Travel companies from to Marriott have publicly stated that they are either "dramatically decreasing marketing spend worldwide," as is the case with, or suspending brand marketing and advertising, as Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson spoke about in an emotional video for employees.

That advertisement abandonment among many brands has left paid marketing in Google Search — at a time when many countries have shut down travel or instituted bans —relatively wide open.

Still Advertising Online

Some brands are indeed still advertising in Google Search.

For example, doing a Google search for 'new york hotels" on mobile Wednesday afternoon generated a text advertisement from, which was the only advertiser we saw. The same search on desktop triggered no advertising — just Google's one-box of mapped results, and then organic links from Tripadvisor, Expedia, and below the Google box.

A search for "madrid hotels" on mobile and desktop saw no advertising, and beneath Google's one-box of search results, were free links finally within view from Tripadvisor,, and

Google Hotel Ads

When users click on a hotel listing in Google's boxed listings in search, they navigate to Google Hotel ads, where travel companies continue to run ads after bidding for placement in Google's auction.

After doing a Google search on desktop for "paris hotels" Wednesday afternoon, and clicking on the first listing for Hôtel Europe Saint-Severin, it took the user into Google Hotel Ads, where Priceline, Expedia, Tripadvisor, and Agoda (in that order) were advertising their $78 per night rate for the property.

If you clicked on a link, "View more prices from $69," below the ads from the four online travel agencies, two additional advertisers, ($69) and Destinia ($177), were advertising the property.

A Google search for "howard johnson flagstaff arizona" generated paid ads from and Howard Johnson Inn — Flagstaff.

So travel brands are still advertising within the confines of Google Hotel Ads, albeit at lower advertising rates and volumes.

Globally, on metasearch platforms such as Google Hotels Ads, Kayak, Tripadvisor, and Trivago, cost-per-click rates for the top position have fallen around 76 percent compared with the beginning of this year, according to metasearch marketing platform Koddi on Wednesday.

Koddi published the following chart a week ago showing the coronavirus impact on cost-per-click (CPC) rates through March 15.

"In response to advertisers turning down campaigns and lower demand, we're seeing many publishers lower CPC floors —the minimum cost required to show an ad — to help provide more utility to users (bookable links instead of none) and to support advertisers and hotels as they look to build whatever business they possibly can," Koddi stated.

Global cost-per-click rates on hotel metasearch platforms are currently averaging lower than $1 for the first time in years. That means online travel agencies can still participate in metasearch platforms, albeit at lower rates, and can still collect valuable data.

In the United States, for example, companies such as Koddi are still seeing some demand for roadside hotels, and bookings for stays within the next day or two, and likewise for stays 90 to 120 days in advance. There isn't much travel demand for stays in the middle of these windows, or accommodations a few weeks ahead.

So why has travel advertising been so diminished in Google Search, but it is still showing some life in Google Hotel Ads auctions?

Google declined to comment for this story.

But one theory is that Google can still provide some utility to travelers through organic links in Google search without many ads.

But travelers engaging with its Google Hotels platform show more travel intent that it needs to fulfill with advertising. In Google Hotels, if advertisers don't show up, it may look like a hotel is closed or doesn't have availability, when it actually does. After all, competitors' metasearch sites are still operational despite the lower travel demand.

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How to change your default search engine in Google Chrome, and switch between Google, Bing, and more - Business Insider

Posted: 25 Mar 2020 08:34 AM PDT

  • You can change your default search engine in Google Chrome by heading to your Settings menu.
  • In that menu, you can change Google Chrome's default search engine from Google to Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, and more.
  • Both the Google Chrome desktop app and mobile app allow you to change your default search engine at any time.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Google might seem like the natural choice for a default search engine in Google Chrome.

But like a Windows user with an iPhone, we're not always loyal to one company. After all, picking and choosing the best products available to us is a big part of being a smart consumer.

So whether it's Google, Bing, or even a more obscure search engine, the point is this: You've got options. 

And regardless of what your preference is — there's no judgment — here's how to set that search engine as your default in Google Chrome, using either the desktop app for Mac and PC, or the mobile app for iPhone and Android devices.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

MacBook Pro (From $1,299.99 at Best Buy)

Lenovo IdeaPad 130 (From $299.99 at Best Buy)

iPhone 11 (From $699.99 at Best Buy)

Samsung Galaxy S10 (From $899.99 at Best Buy)

How to change your default search engine in Google Chrome on desktop

1. On your Mac or PC, open a Google Chrome window and click the three vertical dots in the top-right corner.

2. From the drop-down menu, select "Settings."

2 How to change search engine in Google Chrome
The settings menu icon has the appearance of an ellipsis symbol (...) that's been turned sideways.
Emma Witman/Business Insider

3. Select "Search engine" from the left sidebar, and click "Manage search engines" in that menu that appears.

3 How to change search engine in Google Chrome
You can also scroll down to the "Search engine" section in the settings, rather than navigate to it with a click on the menu.
Emma Witman/Business Insider

4. Find your preferred search engine, and then click the three dots symbol to its right. Select "Make default" from the drop down menu. 

4 How to change search engine in Google Chrome
I'll go with Bing for my default browser.
Emma Witman/Business Insider

How to change your default search engine in Google Chrome on a mobile device

1. Launch the Chrome app on your iPhone or Android device.

2. Tap the three dots at the bottom-right of the screen and choose "Settings."

3. Tap "Search engine." 

4. Select your preferred search engine from the list that appears.

5 How to change search engine in Google Chrome.PNG
You'll have the same default options here as you do in the desktop app.
Emma Witman/Business Insider

Google Podcasts gets a redesign and iOS rollout - Marketing Land

Posted: 25 Mar 2020 11:30 AM PDT

The Google Podcast app is now available for iOS devices, and the web version of the app now supports subscriptions, the company announced Wednesday.

Google has also reorganized the app with a tabbed user interface that includes an Explore section where users are shown new show and episode recommendations related to their interests.

Google Podcasts' new tabbed user interface. Source: Google.

Why we care

Podcast discovery has been a challenge for content creators with most podcast apps showing only what's available through that particular service. Google's aim is to provide a comprehensive resource for podcast discovery, including paid content, and library management.

The addition of subscriptions to its web app lets users more easily switch between listening on their desktops and their mobile devices, something that iTunes and Spotify users have been able to do for a long time.

As Google's podcast platform continues to expand, it'll become even more important for publishers to manage their presence on search.

More on the news

  • Google began introducing podcasts in search results in May 2019.
  • The company made podcasts playable directly from the results page in August 2019.
  • When users select an episode, they'll also be presented with topics or people covered in that episode and can jump to associated Google search results.
  • The "For you" section of the Explore tab recommends shows based on the listener's interests and what is currently popular. Users can personalize these recommendations.

About The Author

George Nguyen is an Associate Editor at Third Door Media. His background is in content marketing, journalism, and storytelling.

Google Search Ranking Algorithm Volatility - Search Engine Roundtable

Posted: 25 Mar 2020 05:15 AM PDT

Many of the tracking tools that follow the changes and volatility in the Google search results have been spiking over the past couple of days. The chatter within the SEO industry is not super strong but the SEO community is a bit busy at the moment.

We just had some shuffling last week and there have been numerous Google search algorithm updates over the year.

The ongoing WebmasterWorld thread has chatter including:

There is definitely an update going on! I am bouncing all over the place at the moment and usually manage to avoid the 'Google shuffle' during an update

My total traffic is about 30% less than I would expect today. However, more states are under mandatory stay at home orders. For me, that's less workers browsing my site from or for work. This makes it hard to determine if my 30% drop is algo or virus related. Probably a combination of the two.

Seeing massive hike in bounce rate... I mean huge! Anyone else seeing that? Covid-19?

I've just done a quick analysis of PVs, traffic sources etc:

1- 16th March PVs normal 17 - 23rd March +504% 24th March +2,321%

But look at the tracking tools.


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Advanced Web Rankings:

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Cognitive SEO:

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Did you notice changes with your site's rankings?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Google Search Console: What Can Be Tracked With This Tool? - Business 2 Community

Posted: 25 Mar 2020 10:32 AM PDT

Google for some time now, has been one of the primary-leading search engines in the world, providing its users with not just spectacular results with an "almost-infinite-like" source of information at any users' disposal.

The massive growth of competition amongst businesses created a surefire strategy for Google to essentially serve as the "middle-man" in a business scenario situation between two engaged parties. As the platform matured, so did common-business tactics.

Today, Google offers over 250 products, including Google Search Console.

In this review, we will be diving into the aspects of how Google's Search Console system works, why it is essential for your business and what things you can expect for your business.

Understanding What Google Can Do Aside from Search Console

Before we discuss the technical-architecture of Search Console, it is essential that marketers understand the vastness that Google offers. From the wide range of Google tools and features collectively, we will specifically discuss the technological influence over the business.

The following are a few of these features and functions to name:

• Search Tools
• Advertising Services
• Communication & Publishing Tools
• Development Tools
• Security Tools
• Map-Related Products
• Statistical Tools
• Operating System
• Desktop Applications
• Mobile Applications
• Mobile Stand-alone Applications
• Hardware
• Services

The capability of Google continues to grow exponentially through the contribution of highly advanced technology. Therefore, the combination of the technological scalability and the vast historic data that Google has gathered in the past decades has paved the path for it to be recognized for more than just a search engine.

Google's Search Console

Google's Search Console happens to a significant tool for marketers and those specialists that evaluate the condition of the product, solution, or service trend.

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Through these insights, marketers can determine the current position of a business in a number of segments and tailor marketing tactics to improve the overall productivity of any business or organization.

What Can I Do with the Search Console?

Users are able to track and observe all corresponding websites and other online medium channels associated with the Google account. Regardless of the industry, range or scope of such businesses, the platforms allow a "centralized" and "unified" system, that enables all online channels to be processed accordingly.

Apart from the unification, the built-in Artificial intelligence sequencing system and its ability to automate, marketers get an advantage in deploying keyword research, industry overview, insights to historical data and a peek into the probably future through A.I suggestions made by Google.

One exceptional example is the console's ability to detect and determine any specific flaws and errors in which reduces the productivity of such a website or the online medium altogether. Through A.I predictive systems, vital suggestions can be provided to businesses that shed light on their range of business decisions.

How Does the System Work Exactly?

This tool's "magic" is driven through the Crawl Stats Feature of Google's Search Console.

The architecture of GSC is built to understand and generate a comprehensible database that defines the behavior, reactions, and relationship that it continuously establishes between Google's search engine, the associated website's online mediums, and traffic behavior.

Why Would That Be So Important?

This is important because marketers need to understand the verticals that are challenged when trying to get a better understanding of their potential buyers and loyal business representatives' state of mind which eventually helps to steer the business boat in the right direction.

The crucial insights of traffic behavior, the amount of traffic and the types of activities, reactions, clicks and other actionable modes all help marketers make vital decisions in business.

The following are the functions that can be optimized by marketers and even business performance specialist:

• Improve your performance on Google Search
• Optimize your content with Search Analytics
• Get Your Content on Google
• Get Alerted on issues and fix your site
• Understand how Google Search Sees Your Website and Other vital pages
• Optimize and enhance your site in the following modes;
• Mobile Usability
• Rich Result Generation

To learn how to get started on Google Search Console, use our step-by-step guide!


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