The search giant introduced Google Shopping in 2012, essentially paid search results for products with pictures that often are put above the organic links. One of the first categories that Google started to fill with their own or paid results was however travel, especially flights and hotels. An area that of course is very lucrative when it comes to the kickback on sales.
Google has slowly moved into other areas as well as e-commerce with its product listings through Google Shopping. If you as a webshop rely heavily on organic traffic the latest development from Google might be a bit scary.
We all know that mobile is the future, something Google last year pushed forward with its mobile search update often called "mobilegeddon". Google is very keen on capitalising on mobile. The SEO-site Search Engine Land now reports that Google in essence have gotten rid of organic results on mobile, for certain travel queries.
Prepare to Open Your Wallet for Google
Google has introduced something they call trip planning in its mobile results. If you search for "where to go in" and a travel destination, they display a special optimized page, with flights and hotel prices.
This page has a nice side-effect, for Google that is, as it ends with an arrow that takes you to further listings regarding the destination you have searched for. If you click on that arrow you will no longer be able to see the organic results.
- Don’t get me wrong; this is an incredibly nice user experience for those looking to travel. But those optimizing for travel search might not like the new mobile experience, says Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Land.
There is of course no saying that this way of displaying results won't move into other categories, and e-commerce is another area where Google wants a piece of the pie. Be prepared to pay for your search traffic in the future.