Booking.com tops paid search chart again

Booking.com has strengthened its position as the most visible hotel brand in Google paid search, with laterooms.com improving its leading position within natural search.


Greenlight’s Q4 Hotel Sector report, released this week, looked at the search results from 1,300 keywords, covering generic and destination-specific terms. In total, these 1,300 terms generated 7.5m searches during December.


For the paid search rankings, Greenlight analysed which brands appeared and where in the sponsored link section on Google for the top 100 of the 1300 terms. Booking.com came top with an 88% share of voice, up from 38% in Greenlight’s Q3 report.


Booking.com bid on 92 of the top 100 terms, and achieved an average ad position of number two for these terms. It used 99 different creatives during the month, including the most visible one, which used the tag line “Over 100,000 hotels worldwide. Save up to 75% on your reservation.”


The section of the report which looks at the copy used in sponsored links shows that booking.com’s “1/2 price London hotels” was in the top ten most visible creatives. London was the most searched for destination in December.


The other brand to respond to London’s popularity was laterooms.com, which used the line “4* hotels in London for £60. Up to 75% off”.


TUI Travel’s B2C bedbank had a good performance in the paid search league, coming second with a 60% share of voice, a big improvement from September when it registered 12%.


Laterooms.com remained top of the natural search ranking, appearing on the first page of Google natural search for two thirds of the 7.5m searches.


It took the top slot in natural search results for 110 of the 1,300 keywords, including “hotels”, which was the most-used term, accounting for 24% or 1.8m searches.


In September laterooms.com also had the top slot in natural search with a 57% visibility.


ebookers.com, part of US giant Orbitz Worldwide, continues to concentrate on paid search to build its presence in the hotel space. It came fourth in the paid search rankings with a 49% share of voice.


It didn’t make the top 60 for natural search, where the cut off point is 1%. Its sister company, hotelclub.net, came 20th.


Within the paid search analysis, Greenlight found that ebookers’ bidding habits best reflected overall search patterns on an hourly basis. It engaged in little or no activity during the midnight to 8am slot, increasing its spend during the day.


On the other hand, it reduced its spend on a Tuesday, the day when the highest number of hotel searches take place.

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