“It really is the year-over-year impact of ITA,” Google’s Nikesh Arora, Google’s senior vice president and chief business officer, said today on the company third quarter earnings call.
Aggregate paid clicks, which include clicks related to ads served on Google sites and the sites of its AdSense partners, grew 28 percent over the third quarter last year. The average cost-per-click rose around 5 percent over the third quarter of 2010.
Google announced its plans to acquire ITA in July, 2010. At the time it announced the deal, Google stated that it wanted to “build new flight search tools” using ITA’s data while continuing to serve ITA’s existing customers.
A number of companies, including travel search company Expedia and Microsoft, which runs search rival Bing, launched the Fair Search Coalition to try to stop the acquisition. But not all travel companies have voiced concerns over the deal. Priceline.com, a major competitor to Expedia, and some others support the deal. Google’s acquisition of ITA closed in April after receiving approval from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Travel is a huge part of e-commerce — worth around $80 billion a year. ITA’s software handles around 65 percent of all e-commerce flight bookings, and travel advertising accounted for about 6 percent of all online advertising revenue.