In the good old days – you know, like three years ago – according to legend you could get a white label travel site happening supported by a basic Search Engine Marketing campaign and live very nicely off the proceeds.

But, so the story goes, you’ve got no chance of doing it these days with new travel sites facing major difficulties in getting the traffic and links they need to scale the organic listings, while high Pay Per Click costs render an SEM campaign uneconomic.

Search engine marketing expert Frank Grasso, boss of E-Channel, has set out to test that theory with a new accommodation site he has launched using product from Octopus Travel called TuesdayIsland.

Frank intends putting A$80,000 on the line for this little experiment … the site cost A$45,000 to build and A$35,000 will be spent on optimization. In a bid to grow organically, any revenue will be ploughed back into a Google Adwords campaign.

“My feeling is that it’s going to be very, very tight and I’m not sure if we’re going to break even without a separate advertising budget – at least in the beginning … we will have to wait and see,” said Frank.

• Frank will be presenting TuesdayIsland – http://www.tuesdayisland.com as a Search Engine Marketing case study at TRAVELtech in Sydney on August 22. You can register for updates at http://www.tuesdayisland.com/experiment

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