Online Search Advertising: The benefits of vertical search vs general search
By Donald R. Smith Executive Vice President, Nor1 Inc. | January 27, 2012
Vertical search, at least in the case of travel, brings a highly qualified customer to your website - those that are "shopping to buy", unlike the majority of the general search users that are often times just looking at general information on a destination.
Hotel groups are moving an increased share of their advertising dollars to online venues for a few key reasons: Online advertising is trackable, the message can be changed quickly, and most importantly, it is in a medium where the majority of unmanaged business and leisure travel bookings take place. The biggest benefactors are of course, the large (general) search engines: Google, Yahoo and MSN. Hitwise announced recently that Google accounted for 65.13 percent of all US searches in the four weeks ending May 26, 2007.
Yahoo! Search, MSN Search and Ask.com each received 20.89, 8.40 and 3.92 percent respectively. The remaining 49 search engines in the Hitwise Search Engine Analysis Tool accounted for 1.66 percent of U.S. searches.
The online spend on search engines, both the above mentioned general search engines and the travel search players (SideStep, Kayak, Y! FareChase, Travel Supermarket, etc.), is noticeable as the market is shifting from the reliance on the online Travel agencies like Orbitz, Expedia and Travelocity in favor of supplier-direct bookings, which can be attributed to the influence of general and travel search engines.