Ryanair makes dramatic natural search gains

Ryanair is becoming significantly more visible within natural search results on Google, according to Greenlight’s latest look at trends.

The agency analyses how often brands appear on the first page of Google results for the most popular 3,200 key terms used by UK users. This June, these terms generated a total of 38 milion searches. In May the total was 29 million.

Ryanair appeared on the first page of Google natural results on 50% of the 38m searches, placing it fourth in the overall visibility list. Greenlight’s March 2010 report had Ryanair visible on 38% of the pages and in December 2009 it was 2%.

Overall, skyscanner.net topped the June natural chart with 89%, including the key number one position for the top term, “flight”, which alone accounted for 35% of all searches. It had the number one slot for 416 other keywords.

Cheapflights was the most effective, with the top slot for 1,463 of the terms, although it ranked only 14 for “flight”.

The agency noted that in June generic terms accounted for 40% of all searches compared with 6% in March. Short-haul accounted for 64% of searches in March compared with 38% in June.

The study also looks at paid search results for the top 120 of the 3200 terms and reveals that OTAs ebookers.com  and opodo.uk have the largest share of voice at 72% and 56% respectively. edreams.co.uk gets fifth place with 47%, the same share as Thomson.co.uk.

Ebookers has the most visible ad creative, highlighting its 200 airlines. Greenlight noted that mentioning the number of airline partners within the paid ad copy was a common theme in June.

Ebookers and Opodo topped the rankings for generic terms. For domestic flights, flybmi has the highest paid ad rankings with 69%. Hotel site booking.com appears to be using paid ads within the flights vertical to shift UK beds, picking up a 25% share of voice for domestic.

EasyJet heads the short-haul table with 81%. It bid on 28 of the 30 short-haul keywords at an average position of two.

Long-haul sees a strong paid ad presence for Thomas Cook’s netflights.com at 39% compared with leader dealchecker at 43%. Combining the natural and paid rankings gives cheaflights the top slot overall, followed by skyscanner.net and travelsupermarket.com.

 > Download the report from the Greenlight website

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