The New York Times’ technology section has an article headlined “A Highflier Loses Altitude as Google’s Clicks Go Flat”. While it may be premature for any of Google’s competitors to go euphoric over the sharp decline in share price (38 percent since they peaked at $747.24 in early November), a principal reason for that is the fact that “clicks on Google ads the United States were flat in January when compared with a year earlier”. That steep drop in PPCs (pay per click) is most likely due to an overall decline in economic activity rather than a moving away from that as a marketing medium. Comscore, the research firm that reported on the decline did not stay if there was a proportionate increase or movement towards “organic” search involving search engine optimization (SEO) that is accomplished by optimizing a company’s web pages to get a higher ranking on search engines for a firm’s search terms.
Most hotel websites use organic search but many have turned to PPC using Google Adwords as they produce fairly reliable metrics such as the CTR (click through rate). Google’s declining clicks may well indicate a potential softening in the hospitality market as well.