The last improvements in Google’s search results that impact the travel industry
In fact, these new functionalities are supposed to help the user to find exactly what he is looking for, but they are also impacting his decision process. They bring more information in the search results and use more suggesting technologies. So the decision that is usually done when the user visits the first page of a site, now takes place at an earlier time (directly in Google).
Instant previews offer a graphic overview of the web page when the user clicks the glass next to the title of any search result.
Impact: if your design doesn’t look good or if your website doesn’t respect Google’s standards, this will impact in a negative way your organic traffic.
Click on these images to see a good and a bad examples of what could happen to your website with Google Preview.
Instant results dynamically display search results as the user types. To do that, Google use new algorithms to predict what the user is looking for.
This is part of Google’s quest to speed things up. And the main aim is to reduce the average time spent on search by 2 to 5 seconds (before that, it took 24 seconds: 15 to type + 9 to chose which results to click).
Impact: this could mainly impact your long tail strategy if people stop typing after the first few keystrokes and click on the results that show up the most quickly.
Google Place Search
Concretely the top of the search results has been totally reorganized: the first results are local organizations (like hotels) and the map is now on the top right of the screen. So the separate local listings (also known as the seven-pack) is now combined with organic results.
Impact: this will improve the visibility of hotels’ own websites to the detriment of third party (OTA, accommodations specialists…). Indeed, above the fold line there are only the local results and the Google map. The “classic” SEO results and the Adwords have been pushed below this line.
Rich snippets for shopping sites
The snippets allow Google to display in the search results a small sample of content from the web page. In the travel industry it mainly concerns the average reviews and the number of reviews. But according to Google if the data were wrapped in microformats markup on the web page, it could also show the range of prices.
Impact: highlighting the web page that have these information on Google’s search results and allow the user to compare product directly in Google’s search results. So, that will directly impact the user decision to visit (or not) your web site.