December 11, 2007

Google + Travel = Troogle?

Tim Armstrong just finished his talk on Google and Travel at the PhoCusWright conference in Orlando. His talk was an overview of the industry and gave some great insights on how Google was working towards optimizing the user experience.

He gave a background into Google's “The wisdom of crowds” philosophy; letting the brainpower of the world make your product better. He stated "If you don't have the wisdom of the crowds in your business, then you are missing a major piece of business."

Google strives to use the wisdom of the crowds to connect the right consumer, at the right place at the right time with the right process and right product. The product he was focusing on is Travel.

Google values the travel market and handles 22% of all Travel all inquiries. That is quite huge, of the billions of the travel postings out there, 22% of them originate with Google.

Tim broke peoples searches down to the their life patterns, in that people get different types of information at differing times in the day. For example:

6am Morning Info - browse blogs and news items

7am Drive time commute - Radio and Blackberry

Google is trying to connect with the consumers with their mechanical day and several of their products (reader, gmail, blogsearch, news) help facilitate that.

Tim was then faced by an industry panel consisting of:
  1. Rob Torres, Managing Director, Travel, Google Inc.
  2. Jim Kovarik, GM of AOL Travel
  3. Jasper Malcolmson, Vice President and General Manager, Yahoo! Travel and Shopping
Jasper Malcolmson asked the question that was on my mind, "Troogle? When are you getting into the travel business?"

Tim -

"I don't think there will be a Troogle. There are some spaces that are clear, and they anticipate that. Google would have a hard time doing super specific business. We would love to get travel info to the customer faster, but they are not planning on tackling the market specifically."

Do you buy it, will we see Google selling travel anytime soon?