Metasearch Basics

By: O'Rourke Hospitality Team

What is metasearch and why is it important to use metasearch? Brian showcases the value of hotel metasearch and encourages you to start formulating your own metasearch strategy!

What is meta search?

 This is simple, yet important, question to ask ourselves and make sure that everybody understands. Metasearch covers sites like Google Hotel Ads, TripAdvisor, Kayak, Trivago and many others. These are search engines that go out across the web and bring back results for the searcher into one central place. The places and sites that metasearch engines are getting that information from are from OTAs, directly from suppliers like the big brands or an individual property and perhaps from other affiliate sites that have rates and inventory. 

The graphic below shows the breakdown of revenue by metasearch company as of April 2021 

Originally, Kayak was the main player in this space but the landscape has evolved significantly over the years and there are now many new players. While there are many other players such as Wego, Skyscanner and others that exist, these are really the four main players that you would want to be thinking about or want to consider.

Is “metasearch” related to SEO?

We get this questions quite often and the short answer is ‘no’, metasearch has nothing to do with search engine optimization and SEO. When we're talking about SEO, we do have met a metadata and we have meta descriptions but that is something completely different from metasearch and metasearch marketing.

Why Is This Important?

The first reason why this is important for hotels is that metasearch is a growth channel that all of those providers are pushing. This is an example from Google.

In this example you can see a search “Boston hotels”. In this result you going to get the map result showing all the available rates. All of these rates that you see here are coming from Google’s metasearch product called Google Hotel Ads.

Another way that they're pushing it is if you do a search for just an individual hotel, you're often going to see this bar chart, right at the very top of those search results. You can also see rate and information over on the right.

So, this is something that they pushing and pushing very heavily.

The second reason why this is so important is that it's a great channel for consumers. As hoteliers and hotel markers, we might not like it too much as it really commoditizes what we're doing and focuses everything on price. But as a consumer, it brings back all of these different options presents them to you in one place and so you don't have to do as much hunting and pecking around looking for information.

What are the benefits to my hotel?

The first benefit is that it's a direct booking that's coming through your online booking engine. This is obviously what we're all shooting for. The second benefit is that it produces very good results. And so we're seeing meta search either meet or in some cases exceed traditional pay-per-click advertising.

Um, and it's very much measurable and getting very much, uh, be flexible to what, what your strategy needs to be.

There are a lot of different cost models and ways to bid and, and get those direct bookings. So depending on your hotel size and market and comp and competition, there are different things you can play with there.

Um, those cost models are cheaper than your traditional OTA. So your traditional 10, 13, 15, 18%, whatever it is that you're paying, um, this is going to be a cheaper option for you, uh, compared to those.

Um, and then lastly, what we like to say is, is it the benefit to you as a hotelier? Is it gets you a seat at the table.

This is an example here where the hotel is not present. These are all third parties. These bookings are going to come through a third party, come through an OTA, which is not ideal.

It's going to come at a much higher cost. And so participating in meta-search gets you a seat here and gets you some additional visibility.

So continue to check us out. We're going to be putting up a number of different meta-search videos. And if meta search is something that you're thinking about, please do get in touch.

We'd love to help you out.

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