By Martin Kelly, Editor, Travel Trends

PAID search advertising volumes have doubled for the accommodation industry in the past year.

Latest Hitwise stats for the Australian market show the most dramatic increase came from suppliers struggling to gain visibility in an increasingly crowed market place.

“There’s been a dramatic shift in the past six months – bidding is a lot more aggressive,” says Sean Smith from HotelClub. “We have a very heavy spend on Pay Per Click and our ability to maintain profit has been massively reduced.”

But it still works and, like other big search advertisers, ratrher than reducing PPC spend, HotelClub is developing better strategies to extract better value from the medium which can chew up thousands of dollars for no return if bidding approach is flawed.

The penalties for getting it wrong are so severe one leading website, Check-in.com.au has pulled all paid search advertising while building better bidding software. MD Simon Isaacs says he is willing to take a short-term hit on traffic for long-term gain.

Travel Trends: March 27, 2009

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