It’s very strange…
Everytime Google comes up with a new service, it’s reported, witout any comments or journalism, by the mainstream Danish Public Service media, but now I feel it’s turning into a problem, with the press surrounding the new travel search service, that Google reportedly is introducing.
Below are links to articles publised on the websites of the two Danish National Public Service TV stations.
So I decided to do the research the Danish PBS media didn’t bother with.
I started with CNN. I couldn’t locate any articles from recently on the CNN site, so I used their search, and I found some weblog postings from 2 weeks ago, where a user had stumbled across the Travel Feature.
Then I located a Reuters press release on CIOL:
Google tests new travel search feature
The Danish media had, as usually, just published chopped down versions of the Reuters article, mentioned above.
But what’s really strange, is that I weren’t been able to find any press releases on google.com, describing the existence of the “Travel Feature”. Could the Reuters article be based on web-hype?
Google is not the only player in “travel search”, Yahoo! and others have offered a similar service for a long time.
The New York Times has a good article, that talks about this:
The Online Travel Landscape Is Getting Crowded.
If the Danish media had bothered doing some research, they would have noticed that the Google service contains links to specific travel services, like Expedia. This doesn’t, nesseceraly, translate to “cheap”, as reported. No, what it translates into, is a service, that travel services will have to pay Google to be featured in.
Another thing. Tonight I watched an interview with Bret Easton Ellis on DR2, and the show started by showing pictures of a Google search screen, I supect from the research that the journalist did. I have no idea why we needed to see pictures of this, and later we saw a screen showing the Wikipedia bio on Ellis. This lead me to believe, that this was ALL the research the journalist did – oh well it’s better than NONE.
The Danish media should realise that Google is a commercial company, and that they don’t need all this free press.
And regarding search. From the logs, I can see that msnbot and Yahoo! Slurp are hitting my website more frequently than Googlebot:
2 18.73% msnbot/1.0 (+http://search.msn.com/msnbot.htm)
3 10.27% Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Yahoo! Slurp; http://help.yahoo.com/
4 4.51% Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.co
This doesn’t nesseceraly mean that MSN Search and Yahoo! are better at indexing content – one could argue that Google is better since my content could be considered noting but “white web noise” – but it IS an interesting trend.