Report Overview

We web-scraped 5,000 hotels across Google to understand the current state of the wider distribution landscape in the U.S. We found that Google’s actions are allowing small OTAs, new entrants and direct sites to compete head-on with the legacy players. Could this mean the end of the duopolistic power long-held by Booking and Expedia?

The primary objective of this unique analysis is to understand the display mechanisms for hotels on Google, ascertain the involvement of OTAs, and evaluate whether Google is enabling direct bookings to compete with intermediaries such as Booking and Expedia. This analysis was motivated by Google’s notable ascent in the booking funnel in recent years, overshadowing other metasearch engines and prompting consideration of its potential disruption of the legacy OTAs.

The introduction of free organic listings by Google Hotels in March 2021 has marked a significant shift, leading to heightened market fragmentation and increased price competition. This has challenged the established duopoly of Booking and Expedia and in turn is seeing a democratization of the online travel marketplace, ripe for new entrants to make their mark.

What You'll Learn From This Report

  • Unique and proprietary analysis based on web scraping of over 5,000 U.S. hotels across Google
  • Understand Google's impact on the hotel distribution landscape
  • Understand which OTAs are bidding for bookings on Google's sponsored and organic results
  • Understand whether Google is aiding direct bookings to compete more head-on with the online intermediaries