Google predicts little impact of World Cup but spies mobile opportunity

By Travolution
By Travolution
June 13, 2014 01:37 PM GMT

Insight from Google suggests the World Cup, which kicked off in Brazil last night, will have limited impact on the volume of people searching for travel product online.

Data from the world’s biggest search engine suggests the impact of the tournament will be limited in terms of search volumes, and there may be an opportunity on mobile.

The data shows firms looking to reach people on mobile with advertising should target half times and the period immediately after England games when traffic peaks.

But, overall, the impact of the tournament on travel search is less marked than it was during last year’s heatwave or the 2011 Easter/royal wedding period.

Historic data dating back to before the last World Cup held in South Africa show slight dips before big events, but nothing as acute as seen annually around Christmas time or during good weather.

Google

In its assessment Google concluded: “The World Cup will have little impact, with a potential slight decline in queries for travel advertisers.

“Kick-offs occur in the evening UK time, and so are unlikely to result in a significant number of people taking time off work (and away from searching).”

With kick-off times for England’s three group games between 5pm and 11pm, starting this Saturday with their opening game against Italy, there is not expected to much of an impact on the working population.

However, there could be some disruption caused by the final group game against Costa Rica which kicks off at 5pm on June 24, a Tuesday.

Google says should England qualify for the knock-out stages there could be some disruption at the quarter final stage, with games scheduled for 9pm on July 4 and 5.

And the search giant warns of a pre-final hangover in the unlikely event of England going all the way and winning the competition.

As well as the mobile opportunity during England games, Google is also advising travel firms to prioritise mobile should there be a repeat of last year’s hot summer weather.

Figures reveal as the temperatures soared towards 30°C in the UK, mobile queries declined less than desktop during July last year.

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