Metasearch And Travel: What You Need To Know

By Tinuiti Team

The core of the internet is based on the amount of information generated each day. There is hardly anything that can’t be researched using the various search engines at our disposal.

Metasearch engines act as a middle platform. They are available as separate websites that take queries from the visitors. These queries are then used to produce search results that are based on data from another search engine.

Metasearch engines are also known as aggregators. They work the same ways normal search engines do but the accuracy of the results can often be not as good. These engines merely take input from the users and send them to third-party search engines. The data obtained from the third-party engines is formatted and ranked accordingly to be presented to the users.

Advantages of Metasearch Engines

Metasearch engines have a few advantages due to which they are rapidly gaining popularity in the internet world.

Metasearch engines don’t merely use one source as their third-party search engine. The queries are sent out to several search engines. Therefore, a single and specific topic can be covered more widely. As a result, the researcher will have more information at their disposal, increasing the chances of finding what they are looking for.

On the other hand, these results are obtained with less amount of exertion. Instead of searching one single search engine to find a specific link or browsing through several, the right amount of information can be obtained through one platform.

The metasearch engine trend has been around for a while. However, it has been recently gaining momentum in the travel and hospitality industry.

More and more people prefer making plans on the go. As a result, internet research for travel options is very common. According to a web analytics firm, a trip planner will visit a travel website an average of 21 times before booking a trip. We can safely say that this new trend is disrupting the travel industry.

Commercial travel companies like Priceline and Expedia find an ideal opportunity with this trend to increase customers and help them book trips faster. Without a metasearch engine, booking trip normally can be a tedious task. Travel metasearch engines make it easier to compare options and find what suits the requirements of the traveler in the best possible way.

The trend seems to be lucrative as far as commercial travel companies are concerned. This can be proven by the fact that Priceline acquired Kayak and Expedia bought Trivago.

How does Metasearch Work in The Travel Industry?

In terms of the travel industry, a metasearch engine is used to compare Online Travel Agencies or OTAs. Metasearch engines like TripAdvisor and Kayak make money by the fee paid to them by the OTA. Let’s say that an online trip planner booked a certain OTA through TripAdvisor. This will result in payment to TripAdvisor by the OTA that was booked.

Users input queries based on their requirements in these travel metasearch engines. Results will be provided filtered according to rates parity, the length of the trip, location, check in date, etc.

In other cases, a metasearch engine may also be paid by a hotelier to promote their brand. Elite SEM can work with each of these metasearch engines to manage ongoing promotion of your hotel brand.

Why is Metasearch a Booming Trend in the Travel Industry?

As mentioned before, booking a trip manually can be tedious. When planning to travel, people have different requirements part from what their budget is. They may have different goals like a romantic weekend, Honeymoon trip, corporate trip, a casual escape, a family vacation or wedding destination. Metasearch engines for travel industry make it easy to narrow down your options for finding the best choice meeting the requirements of the user.

Metasearch engines will produce results for hotelier brands and locations that not only fit your travel budget but meet specific requirements as mentioned in the above requirements. It is fairly easier to put in the requirements because one does not have to find appropriate keywords or key phrases at most times. Instead, these metasearch engines provide categories that can be chosen before hitting the search button.

Apart from that, these platforms are also a great source for marketing and promotion purposes. They post information and reviews for specific locations and hotelier brands. These posts are focused on highlighting the travel aspects and attracting the right target audience. On the other hand, customer reviews are beneficial for potential trip planners.

Google and Metasearch for Traveling

In an attempt to dominate the hotel finder sector as well, Google has introduced its very own metasearch, Google Hotel Ads. Google has many developments underway that will be ultimately beneficial for their hotel finder.

Their biggest rival as of now is TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor has the ability to attract 60 million unique visitors on a monthly basis.

The advantage comes to TripAdvisor because they are providing far more categories for metasearch to their users than any other similar platform. With TripAdvisor, it is far easier to narrow down search results according to the narrowest of specifications from the users. Furthermore, the platform also provides a massive amount of review data, which is quite useful for potential trip planners.

Metasearch for the travel industry is highly positive. The benefits not only come for OTAs, hotelier brands and tourism departments but for the travel enthusiasts as well. In a world where the market is saturated and enough time is not available for users to compare the best deals, metasearch provides an easier solution. Moreover, many such platforms are also available in forms of smartphone applications. Therefore, it has become possible for people to compare suitable deals and trips on the fly.

Want to learn more about Search? Read our case study on how Paid Search and Shopping helped see a ROAS increase of 30%.

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