Thomson.co.uk was the most visible UK website for holiday searches on Google in February, according to the latest study from search specialist Greenlight.
Of the 3.1 million searches preformed for generic holiday related keywords in February thomson.co.uk achieved 64% share of voice for natural search, a 9% increase, despite raking for 16 fewer keywords.
When paid search was also taken into account thomson.co.uk also took top spot ahead of independent holiday price comparison site Icelolly.com, which outperformed the pack for paid search with 51% share of voice.
Greenlight said icelolly.com achieved this by using a consistent weekly bidding strategy and choosing a median approach rather than following the consumer search behaviour.
Icelolly.com bid on fewer keywords and at a higher average position than was reported in Greenlight’s November sector report which may accounts for its total share of voice decreasing by 5%.
For paid search thomson.co.uk came in a distant second with 39%, followed by onthebeach.co.uk, teletext.co.uk and lowcostholidays.com.
Direclineholidays.com was the big faller in paid search with a 25% decrease in share of voice and a fall from second to ninth in the league table.
In natural search thomson.co.uk was followed by travelsupermarket.com, thomascook.com, holidayhypermarket.co.uk and firstchoice.co.uk. Each of these companies achieved at least 40% reach.
Looking only at generic keywords the order shifts slightly with thomson.co.uk dropping to second place after travelsupermarket.com.
Lastminute.com saw its natural search ranking drop in both the generic and long-haul search subsectors and its overall share of voice was down 13%.
Neither leading websites icelolly.com nor thomson.co.uk fared as well in their social media marketing. They came in at 8th and 9th place respectively.
The social media leader was travelrepublic.co.uk, with its 51,181 Facebook fans and 415 Twitter followers.
It combined a high following with regular customer updates to keep consumers engaged. Trailing Travelrepublic.co.uk was Onthebeach.co.uk, Thomascook.com, Virginholidays.co.uk and Teletextholidays.co.uk.
Each of these companies maintained an active social media presence using both Facebook and Twitter. Directlinehoidays.com was the only firm that did not have a Twitter account.
In total generic search terms remained the most popular holiday search keywords with the number up 192% on November, an expected upturn as February comes in the middle of the busy turn of year booking period.
While the volume of long-haul searches increased, the share of voice for this sector decreased by 11% since the last Greenlight sector report in November.