While looking up the distance between my hometown and Vancouver to find out how far away a friend was from me, I came across this:
If you look at that, you’ll notice there is a spot for you to enter your departure and return date. It seems Dean Cruddace was able to reproduce the same results with his query:
Google now selling flights? No! They’re pushing travel sites. When you click the link, you get this:
Interesting right? But wait! There’s more!
The site links below the title link are as follows:
Top of Form
Bottom of Form
Now, the title link has several referrers: http://www.expedia.com/pub/agent.dll?qscr=fexp&flag=q&city1=YXH&citd1=YVR&time1=720&time2=720&cAdu=1&cSen=0&cChi=0&cInf=&infs=2&date1=10/29&date2=11/05
The site links? As Thomas Fjordside pointed out, some have ref=googleflightlink. Others have what looks to be affiliate codes, and others have nothing really substantial aside from tracking codes.
So what’s the deal here?
Are these sites simply authority sites? Has a deal been reached with the companies? Or is this something they’re just testing and those are the sites they picked out of their magic hat?
Google Beating Up On the Small Guys By Profiting Off the Big Guns?
This has me asking lots of questions:
- Has Google entered into partnership with Expedia?
- What about the little guys who are missing out on the profits?
- Will this spread to hotels, cruises, tours, car rentals, and other competitive niches in the travel industry?
Not sure I like what’s going on here, but I’m sure we’ll find out more in the near future. I’m going to do a bit more digging around, and I’ll get back to you when I find out more. In the meantime, have a look yourself and let us know what you find!
What are your thoughts on the new feature? How could clients use that to their advantage?
October 15, 2010 at 12:28 pm | SEO | No comment