Google has been growing and evolving since 1998, 15 years ago, when it was founded. It is a force to reckon with, a strong presence that extends from online to mobile services. Frontier created this infographic to show the Google infrastructure of today. Did you know that all these APIs and services existed in travel phere? Which ones are you currently using?
You will notice that Google+ is not listed as a standalone silo, but rather comes from Google Search. Its content stems directly from Google Search. The content you share (presumably via your blog, public platforms, and Google+) with the people you share it with. Your Circles. This is a huge statement, especially for those who see Google+ as “just another type of social media”.
TRAVEL PHERE IS MORE THAN GOOGLE
If you examine this diagram closely, you will see that travel is just one part of the overall Google equation. This is not the case. Many people in the travel phere industry have waited to see when and how Google would make its big move in this sphere since 2010, when Google bought ITA Software, a major online travel agency.
Google has been slowly, but surely, moving towards online travel phere dominance since then. Take this example:
Google Hotel Finder was launched in July 2011 to combat meta-search engines like Kayak, which Priceline acquired last November.
Google Flight Search was launched at the same time. This allowed for the introduction of flight and transport. This led to the launch of Google Flight Explorer in 2012, an experimental tool.
Seems interesting at first glance. It is being used, however?
In september 2011, Zagat was acquired. Zagat is most well-known for its restaurant reviews and comments. These are mostly from more than 350,000 “surveyors” across North America and Europe. Acquisition of Frommers in August 2012.
ZOOGLE NOW AND MOBILE POWER
Google’s mobile app will be the most disruptive way to market travel phere. It brings in the important notion of’real-time’. Google Now, a personal assistant for mobile phones that many compare to Apple’s Siri, was the most overlooked novelty of 2012.
Google Now, for example, helps with scheduling, traffic itineraries, estimated times and more. It includes your trip details just as an app like Tripit, but also all the Google information it can access from Google Earth, Google Maps and Zagat.
Eight of the 21 cards shown by the application are actually directly related to travel phere. Namely:
Displays information about the airport, including gate changes, flight schedules and traffic.
Upon arrival at your destination, displays directions to the hotel
Based on the real-time estimated travel phere times, pops up reminders that you need to leave to get to the restaurant.