A metamediary is a company that specializes in metasearch; that is, it acts as a third party, linking consumers to a booking site through a simple web search. One metamediary that is making a lot of noise lately is Google. An update to flight booking engine Google Flights in February caused a lot of commotion, with Google Flights being praised as even more efficient and helpful than major OTAs such as Expedia and Priceline. Google Hotel Finder acts in a similar manner. But while Google Flights includes a lot of direct links to airlines’ official booking sites, Google Hotel Finder—at least for now—appears to be different in that it features many more accommodation booking links to OTAs than direct links. This has less to do with Google favoring OTAs and more to do with OTAs paying to be featured among the top links. Naturally, this could hurt hoteliers in a number of ways. Not only are they losing direct business to OTAs, but—given Google Hotel Finder’s prominence in hotel searches—they may have to pay for ad space on the metamediary just to stay competitive. Get the full story at TravelPulse