August 20, 2010

Google gaining ground in travel search


According to Hitwise data, Google proved to be the greatest source of traffic for the U.S. travel industry with 30.41% of travel searches in July, a 6% gain over last year. With 3%, Bing had the smallest share of travel searches, but the most significant increase with 69%.

Google, on the other hand, proved to be the greatest source of traffic for key U.S. industries. The search giant represented 23.42 percent of automotive searches (a 7-percent gain over last July), 20.22 percent of shopping searches (a 7-percent annual gain) and 30.41 percent of travel searches (a 6-percent gain over last year). Notably, the gains in travel searches may be linked to Google's proposed acquisition of travel software company ITA, which Brafton covered in July.

Bing had the smallest share of vertical searches, but had the most significant annual increases in July 2010. It demonstrated year-over-year gains of 77 percent in the automotive industry, 33 percent in the health industry, 84 percent in the shopping industry and 69 percent in the travel industry - though it accounted for less than 3 percent of each of these industries' searches.

Ask.com also showed significant gains in July 2010. The community-based search engine increased in market share by 6 percent, accounting for 2.32 percent of searches last month. While it still has a long way to go, even to catch up to search third-runner Bing, its quick ascent indicates users like social search features, which we reported that Ask had rolled out last month. This may bode well for other social search sites, including Facebook Questions.

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