Study: Aggregators Best Airlines on Search
For the study, SEMphonic researchers queried search engines with 1,000 air travel-related keywords--such as "travel planning," vacation packages," and "airline travel"--and compared how various aggregators and domestic carriers placed on both organic and paid results.
Leading the pack were aggregators Expedia, Orbitz, Cheaptickets, Travelocity, and Priceline. Orbitz captured the overall highest rank by ranking second in paid searches and third in organic searches. Expedia ranked the highest in paid keyword searches, and Travelocity got the top spot in organic searches.
The highest-ranked domestic carrier was Continental, which was sixth-ranked overall, second in organic searches, and twelfth in paid searches.
SEMphonic CEO Gary Angel said it's not surprising that Internet-based businesses like travel aggregators rely on search as a method of capturing business from the more established brands of the domestic carriers. "Part of the reason they're ahead is their business models," he said. "These are guys that live and die on the Internet."