Thursday, June 5, 2008

Travel Suppliers At Odds With Google

Google may be the 600 pound gorilla of the internet, but right now they have big trouble on their hands from travel suppliers like Marriott and American Airlines. These suppliers are asking Google to get tougher with advertisers who utilize a tactic called piggybacking.

Piggybacking in the process of advertisers using trademarks and service marks of other companies in their advertising copy. The hope is that the consumer will get confused and click on the offender's ad instead of going to the site of the real deal. The major search engines, including Google, have policies prohibiting this currently. However, they aren't very good at enforcing these policies, unless violations are brought to their attention. In fact, one of Google's own systems for generating advertising copy can create and publish ads that violate this policy. Ouch!!

It is important that as hotel suppliers we look out for this type of activity. While we alone may not be able to stop it with the help of our brand partners, we can help put pressure on Google to solve the problem. The volume of travel related search traffic is big enough that given enough pressure, Google will surely see the light and fix the problem.

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