Stats from Google on Travel and Online Travel Research

The following stats were shared by Haley Knowlton Gribben, an Adwords Account Manager from Google. She presented at the Vacation Rental Manager Association’s Annual Conference on October 10th in Orlando.

It was a fast-paced and informative presentation. Thanks Haley.  These are my hastily scribbled notes:

Vacation Rental Search Becomes More Popular:

  • 42% Year to Year growth for popular vacation rental queries at
  • 34% growth in overall travel terms

10.2 sources being used by travellers in 2011 for their travel decision making process

  • 27% read email from a travel company
  • 85% searched with a search engine
  • 49% searched online hotel reviews
  • 37% read online travel reviews
  • 25% read online comments

Travel Purchase Timeframe and Planning Window: Most travellers began thinking about the travel purchase at least one month before taking their trip.

  • 8% 4-6 months before
  • 24% 2-3 months before
  • 21% 1 month before
  • 10% 3 weeks before

Affluent Travelers:

  • 80% of affluent travelers actually comparison shop “always or frequently”
  • This is more than personal or business segment travelers
  • The amount spent on the travel positively correlates with amount of research
  • “Research intensity increases with travel spend”

Google +1 causese in uptick on Click-thru-rates… more data to come out of Google soon.


  • 1/2 of Americans will have smartphones by end of year
  • 29.7M mobile travel researches by 2012 in US
  • 74% increase in Mobile bookers from 2010-2012 estimated
  • 19.5% of queries in Google are on a mobile phone in the hotel and accommodations category (BlizzardTracker data shows that at 11%)
    • 377% of year-over-year increase in query volume
    • 844% in year-over-year increase in click volume
    • Vacation Rental specifically had an increase 2X the volume increase for general travel.
  • 9 out of 10 searchers have taken action as a result of a smartphone search

Where People spend time:

  • 5% of time spent on search results pages
  • 95% of time spent on rest of website

Display Advertising to grow radically:

  • $10.2 Billion in 2010
  • $15.9 Billion estimated in 2014
  • $200 Billion estimated in 10 years
  • Search and Display advertising together provide a 220% lift in conversion rate over search alone


  • 38 Million videos uploaded every month
  • 150 years of YouTube video consumed every day
  • 40% of all web traffic is online video
  • 90% of all traffic will be online video by 2014 (predicted)
  • Average views watch 300 minutes of online video a month
  • Travel enthusiasts watch online video:
    • 62% of travel enthusiasts watch online video on YouTube
    • 70% of travel enthusiasts who watch video watch when choosing a travel destination
    • 69% of travel enthusiasts who watch video watch when choosing lodging accommodations in a destination
  • 2 Million travel related results on YouTube
  • 250Million daily impressions within the travel interest category of YouTube

Social Media

  • 18% of consumers begin decision making process on social media
  • 40% of consumers who use search in their decision making path use social media to complete their decision
  • 67% say they trust online reviews as much as word-of-mouth recommendations


4 replies
  1. Melinda
    Melinda says:

    Thanks, Trent, for sharing this data for those of us who were not able to attend. Incredible up side potential in the vacation rental segment considering it’s increasing faster in search terms than general travel search. What do you make of the mobile trends? Is it enough to have a mobile friendly site or do we need streamlined mobile sites in your opinion?

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