[Report] Who owns the flights market in search?

By Louise Linehan

Which brands dominate the US flights market in search?

A new report by Pi Datametrics has analyzed the entire US flights market to discover the most organically valuable search themes and players with the greatest share of voice across the market.

The search data was collected from across Google US with a view to identifying the search terms with the most commercial opportunity over the last four years, and trended to reveal demand peaks and declines across the travel industry.

‘International’ flights: Trended search themes | May 2016 – May 2017

Image source: Pi Datametrics Market Intelligence

So what does the data show, and what can marketers learn from it about the state of the flights market?

The difference between organic value and search volume

Trended search volume data is a strong indication of research and demand phases, but to determine when a search is most likely to actually convert, Pi has applied their proprietary Organic Value Score.

Search volume alone doesn’t always indicate value. Pi’s Organic Value Score averages out all of the metrics critical to conversion – including adword data – to reflect the true value of individual search terms, and their overarching search themes.

Looking at the search volume graph (above) in isolation, ‘Latin America & Caribbean’ appears to be the one of the most important search themes to focus strategy on within the ‘International flights’ market.

But, if we overlay commercial value, the data tells a slightly different story. ‘Latin America & Caribbean’ devalues significantly, while ‘Europe & Middle East’ retains its competitive edge.

Share of voice: Top sites across the entire ‘Flights’ market

Date: 7th June 2017 | Top 20 sites

Image source: Pi Datametrics Market Intelligence

Using a datapool of the most valuable ‘International’ and ‘Domestic’ search terms, Pi generated a vast snapshot of the entire US ‘Flights’ market (12,286 sites), to reveal the players dominating the industry.

Kayak own the US ‘Flights’ market

Kayak perform best both internationally and domestically, closely followed by Tripadvisor – which has recently transformed into an integrated review / booking site.

Here are just a few key insights:

  • The top 3 performers own 57% of the entire ‘Flights’ category.
  • All ‘Others’ beyond the top 20 own 10.1% of the ‘Flights’ market. Kayak, alone, owns more than double this.
  • The top 11 performers consist of online travel agencies, aggregators or integrated review and booking sites. These sites own 86% of the entire market.
  • An airline doesn’t appear until position 11, and only owns 0.6% of the category.

Image source: Pi Datametrics Market Intelligence

Which airline groups own the entire ‘Flights’ category?

  • Priceline Group owns 33.5% of the entire market – that’s four times more share than the entire remaining market, beyond the top 20
  • Expedia Inc owns 25.6% of the entire market
  • All ‘Others’, beyond the top 20, own a tiny 7.7% of the market
  • Airline providers can use this market share data to establish the best aggregators to resell their ‘Flights’

When combined, Expedia Inc and Priceline Group own nearly 60% of the entire Go to the full article.

Source:: Search Engine Watch

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