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U.S. paid search: Kayak led travel category in 2012


Skift Take

There’s a tendency to think of Priceline/Booking.com as the big spender in paid search. While that is likely true globally, surprisingly Kayak set the pace in the U.S. in 2012. Another tidbit, the keyword vrbo (vacation rental by owner) soared in popularity, rising from 78 in 2012 to 51 in 2013, reflecting changing lodging considerations.

— Dennis Schaal

Paid search spend in the travel category on U.S. AdWords is down in 2013. At $238 million for January through April, it’s actually down 19% from 2012’s $295 million during the same period, which was down 17% from 2011.

>Meanwhile, the category of PPC-generated impressions is led by Kayak.com, a company that just a few short years ago seemed to occupy the status of ‘best kept secret’ among those in the know on travel deals. Also of note, the better known brands (Priceline, Orbitz, Expedia) are competing not just with each other, but with lesser known sites such as CheapOair.com and Bookingbuddy.com. Perhaps in a few years these brands will occupy a similar position to kayak.com today?

From Adgooroo, here are the leaders in PPC-generated impressions in U.S. travel in 2012:

1. kayak.com 883 million
2. priceline.com 699 million
3. orbitz.com 670 million
4. tripadvisor.com 663 million
5. cheapoair.com 629 million
6. expedia.com 595 million
7. booking.com 538 million
8. travelzoo.com 469 million
9. bookingbuddy.com 353 million
10. hotels.com 349 million

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