Booking Flights With Google Flight Search: Organic Or Paid?

Sep 14, 2011 - 8:30 am 7 by
Filed Under Google

Google FLight SearchSince acquiring ITA, Google has taken steps to expand flight search and has done so once again, as of yesterday.

Greg Sterling at Search Engine Land has a great write up but here is Google's quick video on the changes:

Pretty cool? Here is how Google describes the features:

  • Get super-fast results. Speed is critical to all the things we love on the web, and travel planning should be no exception.
  • Making changes to dates, destinations, and filters should be as fast as we hope you've come to expect from Google.
  • See a simple list of the most relevant flights. Flight Search shows you an easy-to-scan list to help you get to your destination quickly and inexpensively.
  • Figure out when to travel. Quickly see which travel dates are least expensive by dragging the date selector forward or backward, or check out the bar chart to compare lots of dates at once. Consider your destination options. Flight Search helps you explore possible destinations, letting you filter them by airline, flight time and price. For example, you can use the map and filters to see where you can go from San Francisco within 3 hours for less than $300.

But it seems like when you actually end up booking the flight via the system, Google is charging the airline. So are these organic results or paid results?

Here are two screen shots, the first are the organic results:

click for full size

But when you click on the booking option, it says "ad". It is unclear how that ad works exactly...

click for full size

Wonder if Google will explain that ad part in the future.

Either way, it seems very nifty for booking flights.

Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help and Google Blogoscoped Forums.


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