You can’t have your cake and eat it too. This thought comes to mind now it is crystal clear – not a shadow of doubt – that Google wants the whole desert trolley, nothing on this earth can sate its gargantuan appetite. But has Google, in its relentless quest to dominate, to consume, to be the smartest people in the room, abandoned one of the fundamental principles of good business?
And that is – you are nothing without your customers, never ever take them for granted. I refer to the US launch of Google Flight Search, which means that Google is now a direct competitor of many long-term customers like Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity and Priceline.
These are companies that pay Google billions of dollars each year to advertise travel products. It could be argued their money was used by Google to buy ITA Software, which now drives Google Flight Search, a competitor.
Ouch. These companies are anything but happy and feel like they’ve been taken for fools.
ITA Software also powers airfare search for dozen of Google’s travel advertisers, including American Airlines, Hotwire, Orbitz, Kayak, TripAdvisor, CheapTickets, Continental, ANA and many, many others.
Google repeatedly denied over many years that it wanted to directly enter the travel industry, which it now undeniably has.
This seriously strategic move throws up many questions, in particular – has Google been hiding its true motives to gain a competitive advantage?
You’ll never get a satisfactory answer to that but as one leading Australian travel executive said a couple of years ago: “We like Google, but we don’t trust them”.
Meanwhile, Flight Centre boss Graham, Turner believes Google Flight earch will impact travel websites.
“One thing I will say is that I think Google Flights will definitely hurt onli0ne websites – it’s really going to push those sites to the edge,” Mr Turner told the Daily Telegraph.