Throughout the week we post dozens of original stories, connecting the dots across the travel industry, and every weekend we sum it all up. This weekend roundup examines digital trends.

For all of our weekend roundups, go here.

>>Check out our Skift Takes on Expedia Group’s brands for consumers and businesses. Time for some #realtalk: Every One of Expedia Group’s 23 Brands, Explained

>>The majority of first travel searches have no mention of a brand or destination, putting publishers of digital destination information in a uniquely influential position. Yet publishers are challenged to differentiate themselves in an overwhelming number of options: Online Travel Media — Skift Research Looks at Who Stands Out in 2018

>>We still think there’s a pretty good chance that we’ll see Expedia-branded hotels in the near future if not sooner: Expedia’s Hotel Boss on Becoming a Global Platform

>>When mergers go awry, it isn’t always merely because the acquired company was a dog. Sometimes the purchaser likewise screws the whole thing up: Oral History: Ebookers and LastMinute Deals Showed Mergers Can Be a Blood Sport

>>Eventbrite’s rise has happened in tandem with that of the experience economy at large. Both the consumer and enterprise event technology sectors have thrived in recent years, with mobile tools redefining how people research and buy tickets to events: Eventbrite Readies IPO After Period of Event Ticketing Consolidation

>>Online advertising can be annoying, and even more so when it’s missing the mark. Google’s Rob Torres talks about how the company is trying to at least improve the relevance of the ads users see: Google Is Trying to Do Away With Bad Advertising

>>A new loyalty program aims to reward travelers for everything from taking a walk to road tripping across the country. But will users find the rewards to be worth the cost of sharing their location data? Walk a Few Miles and Earn Points: New Location-Based Loyalty Program Launches

>>Amadeus hopes to clear some of the underbrush that’s grown up in hotel technology. If it succeeds, it will likely reshape the costs and systems used for selling rooms industrywide: Amadeus Hospitality Is a Tough Sell Despite Progress With InterContinental Hotels Group

>>Avoiding digital tools to help manage simple meetings is a big missed opportunity. The good news is that more meeting planners and travel managers plan to experiment with new technology over the next year: Digital Revolution for Smaller Meetings Is Still a Work in Progress

>>A lot of Trivago’s problems, including an advertising diss from Booking Holdings, are beyond the company’s control so it is doing what it can, namely reducing advertising spend and headcount in an attempt to get into the black. Speaking of Booking Holdings, Trivago may need a dot-com-like Priceline comeback to right the ship: Trivago Lays Off Staff in Strategy Shift to Emphasize Profitability Over Growth

>>Has the worm turned? Have Expedia and Booking.com found a way to trim the growth of their bloated advertising spend? That would not be great news for some advertising platforms, and would be a significant change in the way the largest players conduct their marketing operations: Expedia Marketing Spend Levels May Reflect a Changing Advertising Environment

>>CEO Holger Bartel has been angling his deals company into a smarter business model. But the cost of Travelzoo’s investments continues to drag down earnings. Investors responded by shaving 30 percent off the company’s share price on Wednesday: Travelzoo Stock Price Tumbles as Costs Devour Profit

>>Organizations planning small events are finally embracing technology to solve their most annoying problems. It’s been a slow process, and better mobile and sourcing tools have made a big impact: Getting Smarter About Small Events

>>Divvy launched in April, and it may already be valued at $150 million. One possible lesson for other startups is that customers may be eager for simple, one-stop interfaces because they’re facing “dashboard fatigue” from having to check too many other online systems: Expense Management Startup Divvy Raises $35 Million: Travel Startup Funding This Week

Photo Credit: A person using Expedia's app for iOS devices. Expedia-branded hotels could be a future possibility. Bloomberg