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Google Trips Could Disrupt Travel Business

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Google Trips Could Disrupt Travel Business
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Google announced they are bringing the ability to plan a trip to the desktop. Google also announced a tighter integration between Google Search, Maps and Google Trips, with new features coming soon.

Google Trips May be a Revolutionary Change

Google Trips on the desktop receives data from your searches on Google Search as well as Google Maps. It integrates travel planning from beginning to end, from the desktop to your mobile phone.

It’s very useful and because of that it could disrupt the online travel sector by becoming a default dashboard for travel. It’s not really copying anything out there, it’s a unique service that integrates your search activity into the travel planning activity.

Google Trips is Found on /Travel

The service is called Google Trips. But it is located at URL that emphasizes Travel: Google.com/Travel. That’s a little dissonant, as if the right hand wanted to rank for the phrase Travel, but the left hand wanted to brand it as Trips.

What really happened is that Google.com/trips is already being used by Google for their Trips mobile app.

Screenshot of Google Trips when not signed into GoogleThe interface looks like a familiar search portal when a visitor is not signed in

Google and the Travel Keyword

Something some may be watching for is if Google begins to rank for the word Travel. At the time of this article, Google does not rank for the word Travel or for Trips.

Although Google’s Trip App does rank for the phrase Trip and Trips, it doesn’t actually dominate those phrases.

Screenshot of the search results page for Travel.At this time, Google Trips travel planning service does not rank for the search query, “travel.” A preference for Google’s service may have a negative impact on sites that currently rank for that search phrase.

Google Integrating Search, Maps, Flights, and Trips

Google is integrating Search, Maps and Trips so that all three will feed into each other. If you search for restaurants or hotels in another city, Google will remember and populate that into the Trips desktop service.

The goal is to turn Google Trips into a travel planning service.

According to Google:

“We’re now rolling this out on desktop as well. You can either go to google.com/travel or search for something like “hotels in Tokyo” or “Vancouver” to find travel information from a variety of sources in one place.”

When you go to google.com/travel, you can now make edits directly to your trips timeline, and in a few weeks you’ll be able to manually add new reservations as well.

Recent searches, saved places and flights you’re tracking are added automatically to your trips when you’re signed into your Google Account.

Soon, we’ll add viewed things to do and saved and viewed hotels to your trips.”

Google will provide a way to opt out of having the web and app activities communicating with each other.

Google Will Feature Travel Articles

Google Trips will feature travel articles. At this time it appears that the articles are primarily being sourced from sites that are a part of Google News, although not exclusively so. No word yet on how to get featured here.

The travel articles it showed me for Vegas were from Travel + Leisure, The Guardian, 10Best.com (USAToday) and Vegas.com

According to Google:

“…scroll down to see travel articles and find out more about a destination like suggested day plans, popular restaurants around your hotel and events happening during your dates.”

More Functionality on the Way

Google’s announcement kept referring to future improvements to Google Trips as “evolving” the service. Which is an interesting “user first” approach to adding features and functions to a service.

Here’s what Google said about what’s coming next:

“And in the next few months, your trips—including reservations for things like hotels and restaurants—will be accessible in Google Maps, too.”

As you can see, Google is tightening up integration between the various apps and services so that they work together. The impact on travel sites remains to be seen. At this point in time, Google Trips is not dominating the top of the search results.

Read Google’s announcement:
There’s an Easier Way to Plan and Organize Your Trips—Here’s How

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Roger Montti

Roger Montti is an SEO consultant & web publisher with nearly 20 years experience. He offers Site Audits for ranking ... [Read full bio]

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