Google is doing everything in its power to push people into Google Maps, one of Australia’s smartest travel search marketers told me last week. Hard to argue. See response to ‘Sydney Accommodation’ below.

Google - Sydney accommodation screen grab smaller

Everything above the fold either sponsored listings or maps (I had to crop right side sponsored column due to space). Not a single organic text listing to be seen. Good news for savvy suppliers, bad news for Online Travel Agents, which dominate text listings for this popular search term but have no relevance for Maps and so don’t appear above the fold. So now OTAs must bid and buy top spot, enabling Google to make more money from the page. Of course further revenue could be generated by charging for Google Maps listings. Something that hasn’t happened. Yet.

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