Friday, May 23, 2008

Google search trademark - Open Thread

It feels like we've reached a pivotal moment in the long running Google saga.

A new dedicated page - The Google brand name policy switch - on the main Travolution website has all the articles and blog posts over the past six weeks, plus a selection of other articles from around the web and resources for advertisers and agencies.

But now it's time for a discussion. Use the comments section to kickstart the debate.

* What has been the impact on your business so far?
* Do you support Teletext or Directline?
* Are you a 'little guy' enjoying the chance to spread your message into new channels?
* Would you join a cross-industry challenge against Google?


* Why can't we just move on...?

Full coverage here.

Kevin May, editor, Travolution


Alex Bainbridge said...

The impact on my business is that I haven't got any work done in the last 2 days as I have been too busy writing blog posts about it (but that isn't what you meant!)

I think this maybe the end of the beginning for Google. For the last couple of years brands have kept clear of criticising Google for fear of losing position etc. However, now people seem content to openly call Google to account.

Ultiimately Google will have a better way of monetising consumer traffic interested in travel - be it through meta search, some kind of advertising system (like Microsoft) or perhaps by creating their own distribution system (unlikely)...... so while this brand / trademark discussion is interesting NOW - it isn't a long term issue for the travel industry / google relationship.

MLF said...

agree completely with alex.

also cannot help thinking a class-action will be fun to watch.

Travolution Blogger said...

ABTA has just told us it attended a meeting today in London of representatives from other travel companies regarding action against Google.

Full story here

This is first official confirmation that it took place.

[huge sigh of relief we were on the button with the original story!]

Alex Bainbridge said...

So that would be the G.A.G (Gag) group then?

Travolution Blogger said...

Some might call that an appropriate term.

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Small Mystery Operator said...

We took the decision to punt on a few of the big operators in the first week and saw costs soar. The price for quality scoring was way too high for us and we gave up after 5 days.

Travolution Blogger said...

Mberenis: completely irrelevant to the thread.

Ivan Izikowitz said...

Following on from the "small mystery operator"... the practical reality is that buying the "brand taffic" of a competitor is going to cost you a lot more than the competitor is paying for those clicks.

In addition, by virtue of the fact that the customer entered the brand name into the Google search in the first place means that that branded website is already on the radar and will be investigated with or without a diversion to a competitive bidder.

The net result is that the resultant traffic will be marginal and very expensive. In the mass market travel sector where products are increasingly commoditised and margins under pressure, it is unlikely that buying this expensive traffic will make much commercial sense in the long term.

One thing is certain, the brand owners will need to ensure their proposition and SEM keeps up with the market.

stormywhether said...

Only a cynic would suggest that this concept has been dreamt up to yield even greater revenues for the search engine leviathan, countering any goodwill shown towards it in the past by those partners who already generously donate towards its warchest for mutual benefit.

Alex is as ever on target - this could well be the end of the beginning. Google could be seen here to be approaching the final stage of its popularity bell curve. History has consistently evidenced that when enterprise turns against a great force, it is only a matter of time until consumer bases follow suit.

googlelives said...

stormywether and alex are wrong. one of the incredible aspects of an organisation like google has been its ability to adapt.

just as video becomes the growing segment in internet, google buys youtube. think doubleclick.

to suggest this is the end of the beginning could be correct, but to say the beginning of the end is the next stage is forgetting that their may be a massive section in the middle of enormous dominance.

Travolution Blogger said...

Interesting article in BusinessWeek following an interview with Rob Torres (who spoke at our conference in April).

Here it is.