free html hit counter New Google Travel Teaser | John Battelle's Search Blog

New Google Travel Teaser

By - October 25, 2005

Will…Someone…Please…Tell…Them…To…STOP ROLLING OUT NEW FEATURES!

A reader points me to this new feature on Google. Try searching for two destinations – say Madrid Ibiza – on Google. Here’s what you see:

Googtravel

Now, I was not aware that you could do this – it’s a very interesting evolution of Google’s service. It works in the US too….

I may have just missed this, perhaps it’s been around a while?

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16 thoughts on “New Google Travel Teaser

  1. Ilya Baklanov says:

    This airline feature doesn’t work for me :(
    But the trains feature works (probably because I’m in Netherlands right now :)). But the train helper is not like the airline one – not that much features.

  2. shanan says:

    John, your blog has turned into a Google gossip sheet. I’m used to reading substantive analysis from you, but this is just… breathless observation.

  3. Hey Shanan, sorry that you feel that way. Keep reading, if you can bear it, and I’ll wager that you will change your mind. I hope.

  4. In CH, we also have it for trains since beg of 2005

    This new thing is for me just another instance of what I call “diagonal search”, ie composed of an initial horizontal search captured by the search engine to direct you to its vertical search service where he makes more money that on a generic query.

    Google is doing this quite extensively since a few months: I made a detailed analysis of this with lots of examples (in french, sorry) at http://media-tech.blogspot.com/2005/10/la-difficile-naissance-des-services-de.html

  5. viggen says:

    it also works when asking a question, for example cheap flights from boston to cleveland

  6. smeyler says:

    Does anyone know if this is paid or not? If not, how do they select which companies appear? Their largest advertisers? Not the airlines, obviously.

    Anyone seen this for hotels?

  7. Brian Smith says:

    While I applaud Google for adding more vertical search to their result pages – thus providing potentially more relevant results to the user – I’m surprised that searching OTAs (Online Travel Agents) like Expedia is Google’s answer. Obviously these results will be refined over time, and I’m sure we’ll see suppliers added to the mix, but right now, they would have provided a better service to their users by defaulting to the travel search engines (meta search engines like SideStep, Kayak, and Mobissimo) while they work out their own system.

    Google is about providing users with information. OTAs like Expedia are closed systems which are contrary to this mission. Expedia doesn’t search independent providers like JetBlue and therefore doesn’t provide as much information as a travel search engine like Kayak, SideStep, or Mobissimo.

  8. Alan Sorenson says:

    As Brian touched on, what good is the Google model of searching Expedia and Orbitz since an increasing number of airlines such as JetBlue, Southwest, EasyJet, and RyanAir are selling all or a part of their inventory only at their own websites? None of those airlines are in Orbitz, Hotwire or Expedia. AirTran also seems to be moving in that direction with their recent press release that they’ve pulled out of Expedia.

    I’m also not sure what the value is when Google adds more OTA’s and even airlines and hotels to their list of sites to click on. Are travelers going to have to click each site separately to see what all their flight options are? If someone is only going to check one site, why not go there directly. On the other hand, if they need to compare all flights and fares, they should use a travel search engine like SideStep and Kayak. To me, the TSE’s have a lot more value than this primitive Google feature. I don’t get it.

    By the way, one travel search engine that was left off Brian Smith’s list is mySmartTrip which targets business travelers and their companies.

  9. frosti says:

    If you are looking for flights you might want to check out http://www.dohop.com – it searches 660 + airlines and helps to find possible connections if there are no direct routes available.

  10. Don’t see the feature on google any more…
    Have the removed it completely ?

  11. Paisa says:

    Never seen it before, not sure that feature is really necessary! I’m a Paisa though…

    http://www.paisatours.com

  12. Paisa says:

    Never seen it before, not sure that feature is really necessary! I’m a Paisa though

  13. Louise says:

    This actually works!

    If it’s flights you’re looking for you should also check out http://www.travelmarket.com – here you’ll be able to compare the latest prices and find cheap flight fares

    http://www.travelmarket.com

  14. Finn says:

    The best flight comparison site I have tried is http://www.viviro.com – a brand new site with the best possibilities for sorting results. Also it does not cache results as most other searchengines does…

    Absolutely the best I have tried…

  15. Comfuga says:

    Coming back to this old topic again, we recently launched http://www.comfuga.co.uk to accommodate all the bad travel search engines out there. Give it a spin and let usk now how you like it?