Expansion of Metasearches

Expansion of Metasearches

17 February 2016Monika Bandysz

2016 will see the further expansion of metasearch engines but in a different direction then so far. Websites such as Trivago, TripAdvisor or even Google, that focused their actions on comparing OTA offers until recently, are today opening themselves for hotel managers by allowing them to create their profiles, and manage the allotment, prices and content to a certain extent. Metasearch engines will no longer be only used for comparison and will become generally available sales channels, the next OTAs, like Booking.com, Expedia or HRS.

The model of cooperation with metasearch engines is also changing. We are moving from the CPC model to direct booking on the metasearch platform with the commission settlement model. In the case of Instant Booking, this is 12-15%, depending on the frequency with which the hotel’s offer is displayed, we are still waiting for the final shape of the Express Booking service prepared by Trivago.

Google has launched the Hotel Ads service which makes it possible to book directly from the search engine. It is a matter of time before the commission model, tested already in the USA, is introduced here. Currently, this is the CPC model.  

These novelties will increase competition between OTAs and metasearch engines. Taking into account the recent acquisition, this seems to be an absurd situation but it happens and has great impact on the hotels’ direct sales. Hotels will not be competing for visibility in the Internet and direct bookings only with OTAs, but also with metasearch engines that cease to be independent platforms and are becoming a powerful competition for the hotels themselves. Their goal is to stop the client at their website, not to link to the hotel’s website, but to encourage the guest to book directly from the metasearch channel. 

Mergers of metasearch engines and OTAs, their mutual scrambles and a change in the hotel managers’ approach will be observed throughout the entire 2016. Because the principles of their operation are often not clear and transparent, it is difficult to obtain information on their effects, their potential and, first of all, costs. Therefore, it is worth building a good strategy for one’s hotel. Thanks to metasearch engines and OTAs we are found from virtually any place in the world, and success provides a positive image for our brand among clients. It is still significant how the facility is perceived by potential guests via the hotel’s website, content, advertising.

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