Google's plan to dominate the travel business with search, referrals, recommendations and online advertising buys through AdWords seems to be working. One analyst firm suggests Google's travel business worth is about $100 billion.
Google's U.S.-booked air volume rose 13.6% year-over-year to $159 million, according to one report.
At $100 billion, Google’s travel business contributes about 15% to Google’s $650 billion market cap, according to Skift Research.
Here's how analysis from Skift Research comes to this conclusion by analyzing financial disclosures for the first half of 2017 and full-year 2016, and estimating how much these companies spent on Google.
The research group estimates that metasearch engines like Kayak and Trivago will spend 25% more, helping Google's travel business to generate about $14 billion in revenue in 2017.
Priceline spent 23.5% more on advertising during the six months of 2017 compared with the prior year, which puts digital ad spend on pace to reach $4.3 billion in 2017, according to the research. And while Expedia does not disclose quarterly ad spend, the research note mentions it does disclose direct marketing costs -- which rose 28%, putting Expedia's digital ad spend at about $2.9 billion.
Priceline, which broke down its online and offline advertising in 2016 filings, recently changed to performance advertising from brand advertising such as TV. The research firm uses performance metrics as a proxy for online spend. Figures suggest that Priceline spent 92% of its ad budget online.
And with a few numbers on hand within Expedia's footnotes in its financial statement, Skift analysts estimates Expedia spent 85%. Factored into that number, research from Skift analyzed Expedia's exposure to Trivago’s television push.
Combined, Priceline and Expedia likely spent $5.8 billion on digital advertising in 2016.
The analysis also factors in hotels -- with Airbnb specifically at about $1 billion, and other travel agencies amounting to about $5 billion in Google ad spend in 2016, which includes AdWords.