TTE: New name for OHG’s ‘Google Bypass’ scheme

On Holiday Group’s social media monetisation scheme has a new name after the original name, Google Bypass, prompted a legal challenge from the search engine.

Following a competition among users the name has been changed to Share and Earn, the winner earning a break in Egypt.

The name change took place after Google’s lawyers notified OHG chief executive Steve Endacott that they objected to the use of the word Google in the name.
The newly named Share and Earn offers customers £25 for every booking having referred deals to their friends via social networking sites.

Endacott said the goal was to bring travel deals into the social media marketplace and develop a way to monetise sites like Facebook while not paying Google the £25 it costs to generate a booking.

Speaking at a Travolution seminar at the Travel Technology Europe trade show on Tuesday Endacott said the scheme had potential but was still “in its infancy”.

“If you look at alternatives to Google there are no search engine alternatives, however, social networks are growing phenomenally,” he said.

Share and Earn has generated only 127 bookings since launch last August and the 3,600 people who have signed up only post deals to their networks every 3.2 emails sent with offers from OHG’s OTA

 The average posts per month stand at 1,100 and the conversion rate is 0.28%, Endacott revealed.

The scheme is being honed and Endacott said new technology has been developed that will email users asking them where they have been which they would like to promote.

The system then searches the OHG database of holidays and sends back relevant deals. Endacott said he thought this would work better than sending out deals in the hope users will promote them.

“We can treat our users like advocates and give them the same tools as travel agents,” he said.

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