Skyscanner tops Google UK for organic air travel search

Skyscanner tops Google UK for organic air travel search has emerged as the most visible website in Google UK organic results for air travel related searches.

Travel deals site Travelzoo is most visible in Google’s UK paid search results, according to a new study.

Content from the Thomas Cook site is most prominent on social sites including Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

While airlines such as British Airways, Ryanair and easyJet appear in the list of most visible sites in UK organic and paid results for air travel searches, the majority of top positions are taken by broader travel portals and comparison sites.

The findings come from an analysis of the search and social media performance of sites offering air tickets conducted by digital marketing software and services provider Searchmetrics.

Travel portals also appear to be dominating the social networks with, and the top three sites, with the only established airline site among the top five.

The most frequently-shared content on social media included new offers, unusual promotions and interesting flights and travel destinations as well as information on arrivals and departures.

Searchmetrics founder Marcus Tober said: “Search engine optimisation seems to have been a high priority at Skyscanner over the last 12 months, since our analysis indicates its organic visibility has doubled over this period.

“Compared with the online travel portals, many airlines could benefit by better optimising their sites for organic search.

“Perhaps search engine optimisation is not considered as high a priority among airlines as it is among travel portals, whose business is purely online.

“In fairness, it should also be said that online travel agencies and price comparison sites offer a broader range of flights than individual airlines. So as a result, they rank with more keywords, which will have a positive effect on the SEO visibility scores.”

He added: “Too often success on social networks is measured purely on the number of followers and fans a brand has. But social media is primarily about interaction, which is generally initiated by the users themselves.

“Our social visibility score takes into account all mentions of the company ‒ regardless of whether the recommending user follows the company page or not. Although having more fans and followers can help drive social visibility, it is not the only factor.”

Searchmetrics analysed which sites rank in the top 15 positions in Google’s organic and paid search results for a list of the 1,439 most popular search terms related to “flights” including words in UK and US English and French and German.

It used this data to calculate the SEO visibility and paid visibility scores – index scores developed by the company to measure how visible and prominent sites are within organic and paid search results, respectively – for each site.

The study is the first of a detailed three part report on the travel sector in the US, UK, Germany and France and will be followed by a focus on hotels and car rental.

Top sites for air travel searches in Google UK organic search

Site – SEO Visibility

  1. 73,801
  2. 66,801
  3. 35,292
  4. 26,746
  5. 21,818
  6. 19,964
  7. 19,705
  8. 18,690
  9. 13,530
  10. 13,340
  11. 10,633
  12. 8,854
  13. 7,182
  14. 6,968
  15. 6,051

Top sites for air travel searches in Google UK paid search

Site – Paid Visibility

  1. 9,661
  2. 8,098
  3. 4,643
  4. 4,360
  5. 4,120
  6. 3,451
  7. 2,826
  8. 2,500
  9. 479
  10. 341
  11. 311
  12. 213
  13. 44
  14. 16
  15. 6

Top UK air travel related sites on social media

Site – Social Visibility

  1. 89,522,187
  2. 27,506,612
  3. 11,655,007
  4. 4,541,062
  5. 4,249,002
  6. 3,649,531
  7. 2,167,175
  8. 1,050,697
  9. 793,519
  10. 689,509
  11. 557,008
  12. 492,518
  13. 285,062
  14. 81,098
  15. 32,363


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