Searchmetrics study finds Booking.com leads the travel pack for paid search

Hotel room giant booking.com is the most visible site on Google UK paid search in travel according to the latest research from Searchmetrics.


League tables for paid and organic search have come from a 12-month study from the search and social software company.


In paid search booking.com was third in the list behind Amazon and ask.com while leading independent OTA Travel Republic was 11th.


The other travel firms in the top 20 were Laterooms (13), On The Beach (14) and Expedia (19).


“As you’d expect, the list of the top 20 sites in paid search mostly includes sites that can benefit directly from online sales,” said Marcus Tober, chief technology officer of Searchmetrics.


“The Paid Visibility score that we used to create the list reflects the advertising activity of a domain on Google UK.


“Changes in Paid Visibility could result from budget increases or decreases and you could probably assume that the higher the Paid Visibility score, the more budget a domain is spending on Google AdWords campaigns.


“Many online companies plan paid search campaigns hand in hand with their organic search marketing efforts – often turning to paid search  to keep their traffic stable in the wake of fluctuations in the organic search results.“


Top 20 most visible paid search advertisers on Google UK


Domain                                                                Average paid visibility score
1 amazon.co.uk                                                    408,544.71          
2 ask.com                                                             172,309.45
3 booking.com                                                      121,443.82
4 ebay.co.uk                                                         85,961.57
5 johnlewis.com                                                    78,296.92
6 supaprice.co.uk                                                  60,021.29
7 moneysupermarket.com                                     59,900.10
8 virginmedia.com                                                 56,989.61
9 marksandspencer.com                                       53,630.00
10 argos.co.uk                                                     50,494.27
11 travelrepublic.co.uk                                         49,476.14
12 apple.com                                                       47,896.35
13 laterooms.com                                                40,819.57
14 onthebeach.co.uk                                            39,561.94
15 t-mobile.co.uk                                                38,764.41
16 debenhams.com                                              38,066.84
17 google.com                                                     37,390.22
18 netflix.com                                                      35,147.41
19 expedia.co.uk                                                 34,756.02
20 tesco.com                                                       34,650.29



The Searchmetrics table for organic search threw up a very different set of results with only Tripadvisor making the top 20 from the travel sector.


Top 20 most visible sites in organic search on Google UK


Domain                                                               Average SEO visibility score
1 wikipedia.org                                                    14,647,257.45
2 bbc.co.uk                                                         3,356,357.41
3 facebook.com                                                   2,569,029.43
4 imdb.com                                                          2,267,828.00
5 twitter.com                                                        2,151,814.59
6 amazon.co.uk                                                    2,002,721.00
7 guardian.co.uk                                                   1,905,803.29
8 youtube.com                                                      1,813,435.80
9 yahoo.com                                                         1,789,584.18
10 google.com                                                      1,301,060.82
11 apple.com                                                        1,231,291.90
12 dailymail.co.uk                                                 1,177,269.25
13 telegraph.co.uk                                                1,033,977.37
14 ebay.co.uk                                                       956,818.78
15 blogspot.com                                                   752,477.68
16 about.com                                                       689,293.35
17 tripadvisor.co.uk                                              657,325.76
18 myspace.com                                                   606,653.51
19 direct.gov.uk                                                   545,640.20
20 google.co.uk                                                   524,797.45


Amazon’s presence at six makes it the most visible retail site, underlining the strength of the online shopping site’s brand.


Matthias Bachor, marketing director at Searchmetrics, said: “From the results of our study you would expect that many potential online shoppers who are not sure where to buy a product will end up buying at Amazon, because it is highly visible in both the organic and paid part of Google, driving lots of customers to its website.”


Note: Google itself (google.com) is included in the list of 20 top paid search advertisers as it uses paid search results to attract customers for its own products, such as the AdSense programme and promoting its web browser, Google Chrome.

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