When the advertisers started spewing off about comparing hotel prices for your trips, no one thought such a gimmick could work. However, over the years TripAdvisor, GoogleAds and Trivago have created quite a soaring phenomenon.

It is now believed that the majority of travelers have used at least one of the many comparison sites to save themselves money on that trip. This in large part to a majority of investment in online marketing for hotels, namely big brands.

Metas, better known as metasearch engines, were just coming into play and had a very tiny impact. However, six years later these Metas, now dominate the playing field. They have exceeded investments in ads in 2017 and beyond. They continue the growth in the years since.


What must be remembered is that investments in search engines and investments in generic marketing campaigns included in the research show that there is more than just a little change. This does not happen to just the name brands, we find that most hotels are finding benefits from the metas.

Online marketing has the extreme strength in the growth rate of meta-search engines. This growth difference between traditional and metas caused a shift, it is now the meta-search engines dominating the known traditional ads.

Oddly enough, the one who is leading the pack is the last to join in this competition of meta-search engines. Google reached the top at 67% of all metas investment so far in 2019. This trend is not worldwide, however. Each country seems to have a favorite searching tool.

Meta Search and travel ads

Why is Google on top?

Well, some of the reasons are:

  • They do their homework and study the competition
  • There are billions of users using their search engine, giving them the advantage of showing their comparison tool first.
  • Their creation of the first business model that was hotel oriented was the right move to make at the right time. (Actually, Trip Advisor was first that used instant booking ability, but had discontinued this.)
  • They also use the room model booking ability, where prospective guests can actually view the room.

Since this inception, other metas have made some drastic and substantial improvements and therefore have also seen growth from investments. Google just continues to have a normal growth rhythm. There are other meta-search engines, but they remain close behind the leaders.

The leader remains the same since 2014, but their share has dropped to 67%. This is due to the popularity of Trivago and TripAdvisor. However, in 2019, they once again remained number one with a share of 75%.

Strategies will need to change if they want to continue with the increases they have been seeing. It is hard to maintain popularity over the long term. They will need to invest more in the marketing search engines before the competition makes the jump over them.

No matter which way you look at it, they have learned to not sell all the eggs at one time. The data shows that in order to remain where they are, diversification needs to take place. New ways, new methods to bring about the uniqueness and ease of use for the consumer.

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