Tag Archives: Google

Google’s Flight Search Takes Off

Google debuted its long awaited flight search Tuesday.

The new search, powered by the data and algorithms it got when it bought ITA Software for $700 million in April, can be found directly at Google.com/flights.

Trying out Google’s take on flight search, one can see why traditional flight search engines feared the deal. Google has clearly integrated ITA’s smart algorithms that make sense of ever-changing airline inventory with its massive search infrastructure.

The site’s defining feature? Speed. Results from flight searches show up almost instantly—which comes as something of a miracle, given how accustomed we’ve all become to ten second-waits to find a cheap fare to Boise, Idaho.

Currently, booking a flight requires you to click over to an airline’s site, which isn’t always seamless since you may have to repick the exact flight when you hit the airline’s page. The flight search also gives you the option to limit a search to only one airline, but in the case of choosing Virgin America, Google seemed to have no data.

Despite those limitations, one can only assume that there have been better days inside companies such as Expedia, Orbitz, Kayak, and Hipmunk.

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Google To Concentrate On Mobile Devices In 2010

The number of people using the Internet on their mobile device will more than double to reach one billion by 2013. Meanwhile, the number of mobile applications or “apps” available on Google’s mobile platform, Android, has risen sharply from 10,000 in September 2009 to a little under 20,000 in December 2009.

Where does Google go from here? Right in our pockets, it appears. The release of the Nexus Phone made a splash, but Google is concentrating on the red meat of advertising and search to really make its mark in 2010, especially on mobile devices.

In 2009, Google saw mobile search increase 5 fold. The advertising that goes along with mobile search is even more specialized for customers. According to Senior Vice President of Project Management for Google, Jonathan Rosenberg.

“The new formats, the targeting tools and the reporting we are giving to advertisers (are) making a difference. Click to call, letting advertisers target specific high-end devices or carriers (we are) seeing improved monetization across mobile.”

This goes along with the trend Google has shown in strengthening its geo-specific local search results and the goal of getting answers to search result question to the user quicker. The feature is especially appealing to marketers as more consumers are using their phones to research the pricing on a possible item before buying.

Online Video Audience Continues To Climb

Despite having achieved mainstream status a few years ago, the total audience for online video continues to balloon. And YouTube’s dominance in the category seems boundless, as the site delivered more than 10 times as many video streams as any other site in the U.S. last month.

According to the latest report issued by Nielsen Online, 137.4 million Americans watched Web video in December, a healthy increase of 10.3 percent versus the same month in 2008. Those viewers streamed over 10.7 billion videos during the month, representing an increase of 11.8 percent versus the same time period a year earlier.

While the number of streams per visitor showed only marginal growth, Web video viewers are watching longer clips on average; time spent (per viewer watching online video) jumped 13.2 percent to 193.2 minutes in December.

And while Hulu, the joint venture between News Corp., NBC Universal and Disney, continues to demonstrate tremendous growth—making it the No. 2 video site on the Web—YouTube continues to account for a disproportionate amount of the video consumed on the Internet. The Google-owned property streamed over 6.4 billion clips in December, per Nielsen, while Hulu streamed almost 635 million videos. YouTube also reached nearly 106 million unique viewers versus Hulu’s 13.6 million.

Curiously, Nielsen and rival comScore continue to report audience numbers for Hulu that are miles apart in scope. While comScore’s data places YouTube far ahead of other players in the segment, it estimates Hulu’s audience to be over 43 million users—roughly 30 million users more than Nielsen’s estimates. Similarly, according to Hulu, comScore’s data indicates that the site’s average monthly streams recently topped 920 million—almost 300 million more than Nielsen tracked.

Source Media Week