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Less Is Actually Less Believe Or Not.

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As I do my periodic trawl through Google results pages attempting to spy a result that is not an Online Travel Agent (OTA) or 3rd party rehash of an Expedia Feed I see the increased creep of newspapers in the top organic listings.


Take a look at the attachment where I summarise how Google is showing it's listings diversity in the SERPS for the keyword "Luxury rooms in London". I'd written about this already but I don't see the situation improving but getting worse. When I say worse, I mean bad for organic optimization in the classic rankings sense of the word. Actually I helped my clients make more revenue than in past years because I shifted focus to take account of these changes. Optimise the visitor/conversion funnel.


What you will see in the attached is what I see on just about every major KW query for the travel sector in London.


Newspapers: both The Telegraph and The Guardian appear frequently in the SERPS, they are kind of like a WIKIPEDIA


Here is the type of pages they are putting out:



If you own a website and are getting organic & free traffic, my advice would be to run tests and experiments on your website, be ludicrous because often what is supposed to work on paper doesn't and what shouldn't, does.


I write this sending greetings from a sector in which organic traffic keyword optimization is pretty much un-optimizable and populated with larger brands.


I'm actually pretty happy about it because it shifts the optimization work away from page positioning.


Best regards

















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Thanks Glyn: Essentially the message is that optimizing your own site(s) for google search simply isn't going to work in certain categories. You simply have to turn elsewhere to make web conversions work.


I searched on Luxury Hotel Rooms London from Washington DC on a desktop


Above the fold for me are 3 ads and the top of the "map" pac of 3 hotels with booking info. Of the top 10 organic results below the pac was one actual hotel site....and in there was the page from the Telegraph


Do they get paid an affiliate fee from booking.com if one clicks on one of those button? They should in my mind. Beyond that they monetize the page.


I've seen those newspaper type/media type/ assertive type lists in various serps for different products services in the states.


You wrote a terrific piece on hotel search results


I haven't bothered to do that level of research but in the states something like the Telegraph pages have been around for a while on CBSLocal.com sites. I briefly described it here.


Funny thing about those media/newspaper sites in serps. We found that they evidently grabbed a lot of traffic and then they delivered traffic. We had a couple of smb's in different markets that were the recipients of little stories/links from them. The traffic we received in every market/region was not insignificant. We would get a relatively high rate of conversions from these "advice" pages. Because our services enable us to spend a lot of time with customers we are able to do a little direct marketing questionnaire type work with the customers. Not surprisingly many customers reference reviews as being a major factor in decisions to purchase our services.


More surprising though was that some customers referenced the "authority sites" such as cbslocal as helping them decide to purchase our services...as we were in the "best categories". We heard that a number of times.


An authority type site works as a source of review/advise/ to customers. Grandluxuryhotels.com which I found in the search from DC. looks to be one of those sites; a curated list of hotels with a lot of substantive description to create a sentence of authority....and after all is said and done its another middle man booking site.


Still a lot of ways to make the web work for getting visitors and then customers. Its just that direct serps isn't one of them.

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