Is Google Becoming An Online Market Place?

By July 22, 2015Content Marketing, News

Topics like this pull at my heart strings.

On one hand, I like Google because they have provided small companies amazing opportunities and tools to succeed through marketing themselves on the internet. Google does this by providing entrepreneurs and startups cheap infrastructure and applications such as Google Drive and Gmail. Google has additionally provided, My Business Profiles, Adwords Campaigns, and organic search engine results that allow for new ideas and companies to be found as soon as the enter the market.

On the other hand, I don’t like Google because they are a mega corporation that owns nearly all of our digital footprints and buys killer robot corporations like Boston Dynamics. (While this is funny, I’m not sure it fits with the tone of the post.  It’s ultimately up to you, but I tend to avoid anything that isn’t specifically relevant to my topic.  It’s funny, but that could also detract from the overall points…idk its up to you)

I digress…

The internet and search engines have provided users with the ability to instantly cross compare prices on similar products. This has resulted in a sort of commoditization of many products and services, especially hotel rooms and airline flights. The digital travel marketplace as a whole is a global arena where millions of buyers search for travel services at rock bottom prices. This means, buyers are comparing hotel rooms with little or no differentiation between them, and this forces hotel and airline companies to compete almost exclusively on price. This “rush to the bottom” is what I am calling the commoditization of the travel industry.

(The reality of the situation is that most people who are shopping for hotels and flights make their choices based on price are looking to rent a box with a lock and a shower – not an award winning Bed & Breakfast vacation getaway.)

Here is my point.

Where there are systems of data and money to be made, Google is waiting. Just as they’ve done with maps, video, stock quotes, and more… Google is now showing signs that even hotel reservations will be able to be booked without ever leaving a Google-owned property.

Recently Tnooz.com published an article explaining how Google’s hotel finder prompted them to book the hotel from the SERP using their Google Wallet settings. (Notice the label “You are booking with Hotel Rouge on Google”)

booking hotels with google wallet meta search

Let’s Get This Straight

They completely cut out every middleman.

Here is another example. If you search for a hotel in Putney Vermont. Google returns the geographically relevant hotels, aggregates reviews from all over the internet, displays pricing and accommodation information, and then prompts the user to close the sale within their own digital property.

This is huge, and here’s why: Imagine for a moment you start searching through Google for items like Converse shoes, blue ray players, or a pair of sunglasses. Then, you start clicking on the products lsitings.

Google check out update

When you eventually find the cheapest price for your trusty black Chucks, you then check out via your Google Wallet right there in listing. Google takes a cut of the profit and the “online retailer” is now just a third party logistics provider and simply ships the product to you. Talk about some major vertical integration…