Google launches Google Flight

Posted on September 30, 2011


Google has added yet another string to its search bow with the launch of Google Flight, providing its US users with a short cut to flight information direct from the main search page. The new search section is in direct competition with Bing Travel, which was launched earlier this year.

Information on flights has been available within Google’s main search page since May this year when searching for flight-related keywords. The new section, however, operates much like other flight search sites, providing prices, times and airline options. Flight information within the main search page features only routes, duration and carriers.

The launch has experienced a few glitches, and has not rolled out internationally. Announcing the new feature on Google’s blog, Kourosh Gharachorloo, Engineering Director, stated that the feature is still in its early stages and that Google expects to make a number of improvements over time. Google Flight is the first product developed by Google using software company ITA Software, which the search engine company acquired in April.

Google Flight is yet another move in the increasingly energetic battle between Google and Bing, something which those in SEO careers have been watching closely. Bing’s Bing Travel section may retain an edge, featuring as it does predictors of whether prices are likely to change.

With increased personalisation of results, and an ever-growing number of task-specific sub-search options like Google Flight, those within the search engine optimisation industry have been speculating about how each of these changes will affect the average site’s chances of attracting search traffic.

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