A study out from SEM technology firm SEMphonic finds that travel sites like Expedia, Orbitz and Hotels.com push out actual hotel sites such as Marriott and Radisson from top results of "247 hotel-related keywords." Travel aggregators or travel search engines get 39 percent of the top 50 spots in paid listings, while hotels get 17 percent of the listings. Hotels do better in organic listings, getting 48 percent of the top 50 spots.
The firm hasn't released the study to any one but DMNews yet, so it's hard to poke at it more. You can read more in their article, Travel Sites Push Hotels Out of Searches.
Top of my head -- I tend not to like studies that dig deeper than the first page of results. What's happening in the top 10 spots? That's what matters. There's a side remark in the DMNews story noting that when you look at the top 10 organic listings, Marriott, Radisson and Starwood hotel sites do well there.
I guess the takeaway point is this. If you run a travel site, make sure you're doing everything possible to ensure that your official site is showing up well, if that's important to you. As someone sick of always running into your affiliates rather than the official site, I know it's important to me.
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