A Hitwise study into UK travel search patterns over the so-called peak booking season shows that users now expect Google to cope with the long-tail while YouTube remains the bastion of the single or two-word query.
In the thirty days after Boxing Day, Hitwise found that 78% of YouTube searches related to Iceland were one or two words, while 58% of Google searches were three-words or more.
[caption id="attachment_162912" align="aligncenter" width="550"]
Iceland-Related Searches: Number of Words on YouTube vs. All Search Engines[/caption]
Iceland was chosen as the example as it was the destination with the largest year-on-year increase in YouTube searches, up 118% compared with last year's peak period.
Assuming that this difference between YouTube and other search engines applies to other destinations, the former could end up seeing its revenues rocket as OTAs and aggregators pile into the single word bidding wars.
Talking of OTAs and aggregators, Hitwise also looks at how much traffic some familiar names derived from their YouTube channel. Skyscanner leads the way having grown its referrals by 58% year-on-year.
YouTube - and video in general - is increasingly important in the overall digital landscape. The Hitwise survey references a report from Cisco which says that video will account for 79%of all internet traffic by 2020.
Meanwhile, YouTube said that views for travel videos in 2015 were up year-on-year.
Video has always been a part of the travel marketers' toolkit, although it could be argued it does not get the appropriate share of voice compared with text search, relative to its presence in the digital world.
The widely-acknowledged multi-billion-dollar spend by Priceline Group and Expedia Inc on Google advertising does not break out how much is spent on video. If and when that happens perhaps the rest of the industry will pay more attention to their video marketing budget.
Click here for details on how to access the Hitwise report.
Related reading from Tnooz:
Engaging travel audiences through 360-degree video (March 2017)
Live, 360, or virtual video: Facebook’s new video formats catch marketers’ eyes (April 2016)
How video influences travel decisions (Dec15)