Well, isn't it curious that the bigwigs over at Google are suddenly hush-hush about travel? It's almost as if it's slipped a few rungs on their priority ladder, it would seem.
Parent company Alphabet’s chief business officer, Philipp Schindler, told analysts Tuesday that Google’s “three key priority areas” are Artificial Intelligence, retail, and YouTube.
Apparently, Google Travel is not one of them.
Oh, how quickly the tables turn. Just a couple of quarters ago, Google was singing praises about retail and travel being their golden geese for the oh-so-un-officially-named "Advertising, Search and Other" revenue segment. But their priorities have changed.
Google Has Laid Off More Staff at Google Flights
Back in January, when Google casually mentioned they were trimming their workforce by a small 6% across the board, guess who got the rough end of the stick? Yep, you guessed it - Google Flights.
Their job cuts were more like a 10-12% slash, hitting particularly hard those with years of airline experience under their belts. The casualties included several top-tier engineers and a veteran product specialist.
It's pretty evident that travel hasn't entirely lost its sparkle in Google's eyes. This past June, they made a big to-do about incorporating some fancy travel-oriented bells and whistles into their AI-fueled search escapades.
Instead of bombarding you with a tsunami of information when you innocently ask about travel, this shiny new feature presents you with a "highly intelligent snapshot of crucial bits you might want to know about, with handy dandy links for those who love the rabbit hole," or so says Google.
Perhaps Google Flights and their travel arm is not returning the ROI with its search initiatives. A quick scan of the travel-based search numbers indicates they are robust, or at least consistent.
Maybe that's not turning in to $$.