Exclusive: Google sees travel searches surge 21%

Google has seen stronger growth in travel searches in January 2010 compared to January 2009, the search engine reporting a 21% increase in queries and a 7% increase in clicks.

Travel queries in January 2009 saw only a 9% increase year-on-year.

Cost-per-click rates on travel keywords fell in 2009 with average CPCs now 7% less than this time last year following three years of CPC inflation.

Travel queries for 2009 were up 16% on the previous year with car hire showing the strongest growth of 25% followed by hotels at 19%.

The search giant has also reported branded holiday queries such as ‘Thomas Cook holidays in Turkey’ are growing at double the rate of non-branded.

The trend demonstrates how consumers are looking for the reassurance and security of long-standing brands when looking to spend their holiday money.

Growth rates for luxury travel queries have caught up with budget travel terms in the past year, according to the figures.

At the beginning of 2009, due to the economic downturn, queries for budget travel such as ‘no frills airlines’ and ‘all-inclusive holidays’ grew more quickly than searches for premium products.

The average length of queries, in terms of numbers of words, is increasing with consumers becoming more sophisticated and entering long tail queries.

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