Google Destinations – A Full Funnel Immersive Experience

I have written about a number of test products by Google recently. Their chance of success is unpredictable. Certainly Google wants to to be in lead gen… and be able to take credit for that last click before the sale. But if you want to look at the future of Google “search” square in the eye then learn about and understand their newly announced Google Destinations.

It is what Google calls an immersive experience. It integrates Knowledge Graph entities with related data and has the goal of starting you at Google, keeping you at Google and through various calls to action, being sure that you complete the transaction at Google.

It is very much a rabbit hole experience that starts at the top of the funnel with awareness (where do I want to go ie France), to interest (let’s look at Paris), down the funnel to consideration (what itineraries, which sights, whats the cost & best time of the year, can I afford it), to conversion (book the hotel & airfare).


While Destinations  is one future of search it is clear that Google will attempt to create different specific interactions for specific markets. The Local Finder is an example where they start you on a local result and then take you into their more complete local search experience. While monetization is certainly one of their goals, they still want to keep you at Google to see more ads.

In some markets they will monetize the last click either via AdWords or for lead gen with Home Service Ads. And if they can’t monetize the last transaction for example, they will track it and take credit for it regardless ala places actions.

Google will try many things and throw many away (like insurance quotes and car leads). Not all of these efforts will look the same. But some of these many developments will stick and all will be pointing towards increased engagement, increased immersion and increased monetization, all at Google as Google attempts to own the top of the funnel. For them it is an existential battle.

Screenshot 2016-03-10 14.36.48In the end most small businesses won’t complain if their web visits go down but their conversions go up…. unless the cost for that conversion continues to increase as Google squeezes more and more out of search.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
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3 thoughts on “Google Destinations – A Full Funnel Immersive Experience”

  1. Thoughtful article, Mike. Personally I think the google immersion tactics started with the knowledge box. It commands the screen. On mobile–it doesn’t command the screen–it is the screen. On first glance your url –your business website is not visible. Oh yeah…there is a link to it…but only google knows how often that link is hit. I bet its not much. I bet visitors are taking in the knowledge box and NOT going to your website.

    That seems to be the data we are seeing from the recent Acorn Article you submitted. Great article. Great group.

    But that data is subject to MUCH MUCH MUCH more analysis. I wish they had expanded upon the information. I question the entire story.

    Per the Acorn data….Google traffic was WAY DOWN. But per the conversion/booking traffic via ecommerce…bookings via G organic was up on a percentage basis and up a bit on an overall basis.

    NOW….here is where the overall analysis needs more data.

    One inn. Over the last two years google organic traffic down 25%. One quarter. Huge drop.

    E bookings via google up 14….134 vs 120 the previous year.

    Okay. But what about the grand totals. A B&B Inn. Lets say 5 bedrooms. 50 operating weeks (that is a guess). That is a max of 250 bookings of bedrooms ….BUT. its a B& B. During any week…there could be 2,3,4 bookings per bedroom. (the experts at Acorn could give us figures. As an unknowing layman I’ll guess 2-3 per week. Say 2.5. So…an estimate of2.5 bookings per total bedrooms available or potentially 625 inventory of bookings.

    So my question is what occurred between the two years wherein G traffic dropped by 25%. Outside of the bookings generated by E commerce off of organic google there was a potential to book 79% of the room inventory or 81%.

    What occurred?

    We don’t know. A lot of it is hidden. There were 13,000 less clicks on the website via G organic. A drop of 25%. Big visibility loss. What occurred.

    There is more to the story. We need to speak with the great people at Acorn. They are very professional and knowledgeable.


  2. I would agree with you that both the new Local Pack AND the KP are both examples of the immersive experience that Google is going for… this is particularly true in the B & B industry.

    You start with a 3 pack, you go into the Local Finder, maybe you look at a Streeview Trusted tour and then you book… it starts further down the funnel but the goal is the same. Keep the user at Google until they have committed to an action like booking.

  3. Again. Referencing the Acorn data is very powerful and helpful.

    I’m going to ask more about it. Very interesting article by you, Mike. Terrific additional reference.


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