If Google Flights can successfully drive a higher volume of referrals while maintaining its attractive conversion rates, then they just may be able to deliver on that original metasearch "OTA antidote" promise.
Phocuswright research indicates that overall, travelers going to airline websites are more likely to convert than those going to OTAs. This also proves true with Google's metasearch travelers – the disproportionate share of Google Flights' referrals to suppliers is translating to notably higher conversion rates on its leads than other metasearch sites where OTAs get more referrals.
Google Flights is speedily growing monthly visitors (it took them less than five years to surpass KAYAK despite KAYAK's eight-year head start to market), but fewer visitors are clicking onwards to airline or OTA websites. So, while Google may deliver conversions at a higher rate, it's delivering on smaller referral volume. KAYAK wins in the middle and generates more leads to downstream sites, leaving room for Google to bridge the gap between its two strengths.
Get the full story at Phocuswright
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