Greenlight’s look at the search trends for the hotel sector during September found that laterooms remains the most visible hotel site in Google natural search, with booking.com topping the paid search rankings.
The agency’s Hotel Sector Report Q3 09 found that laterooms.com kept its number one slot in the natural search visibility rankings, appearing on the first page of Google for 57% of the 9.6m hotel searches carried out in September.
The TUI Travel-owned bedbank was significantly ahead of booking.com, hotels.co.uk and peremierinn.co.uk which all achieved a rating of 31%.
The natural search visibility ratings are based on analysis of 1300 keywords. During the third quarter, these terms generated 29m searches from UK users of Google. The most popular term searched for during the quarter was “hotels” which was used for nearly one in four searches during the period. “Hotel” and “London hotels” accounted for 9% each.
However, in terms of paid search, Greenlight users a different methodology to come up with a “share of voice” rating by seeing which brands appear as a sponsored link for the top 100 of the 1300 keywords. Booking.com has the biggest share of voice. Greenlight says that the booking.com bid on 95 of the top 100 words and achieved an average ad position of number two.
The next highest share of voice in paid search is hotels.co.uk. It also bid on 95 of the keywords, but only achieved an average ad position of seven.
In May, Travelport’s Octopus Travel had the highest share of voice for paid search with a 19% share. In September this fell away to 4%, the same as InterContinental and yell.com.
Expedia Inc’s opaque business hotwire.com makes a surprising appearance in the paid search chart, coming sixth with a 12% share of voice in the UK, a source market it doesn’t operate in. It achieved this by bidding on only six of the top 100 keywords, choosing high volume terms and achieving a high average position.
Orbitz Worldwide has recently talked about refocusing its business around hotels. In September, its ebookers.com brand in the UK was more prominent in paid search than in the natural search. For paid, it achieved a share of voice of 14%, the fifth highest. But for natural search its visibility was 0%.
Elsewhere, the chart looked at search volumes by days of the week. Lastminute.com is singled out for following the overall trend most closely. It drops its paid search activity during the weekend when, according to Google Insights, hotel searches are at their lowest.
Lastminute.com concentrates its paid search activity on Thursday and Friday. Google says Tuesday is when most hotel searches are carried out.
Read the full Greenlight hotel report