Insights from the Koddi team on hotel price ads, meta, and more...
Running Alluxio with Docker and S3 on DCOS/Mesos/Marathon

At Koddi we’re always looking for ways to increase the speed and stability of our platform. One of our latest projects is speeding up our daily ingestion of data.

All of our data is initially stored in flat files on S3 before being loaded into our database. We’re currently in the process of integrating Apache Spark into our load process to drastically increase the speed of our loads. One problem we ran into is that S3 doesn’t behave like a normal file system in terms of read and write speeds. This is where Alluxio comes in. Alluxio is a “memory speed virtual distributed storage system” which lies between frameworks (such as Spark, MapReduce, Flink, etc.) and a storage system (Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage, HDFS, Ceph, etc.). This allows for dramatically faster data access, with some users seeing a 30x increase in data throughput. For a more in-depth overview of Alluxio, see their documentation.

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Hurricane Metasearch Trends: Hotel for Lassie

Over the past couple of weeks, we have seen a huge impact on campaigns due to Hurricane Matthew. As mentioned in the previous post, people weren’t just looking for a hotel for themselves. They were also looking for a place for their pets. Many people see pets as a major part of their family and will not leave them behind during an evacuation.

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Hurricane Matthew Metasearch Trends

Early in the week, we noticed an unusual spike in traffic in certain geographies in the southeast United States. Upon digging in, we found that the uptick in traffic was coming primarily from States in the path of Hurricane Matthew. We found that many users were searching for hotels further inland in their respective states.

While the spike did impact properties of all types in one way or another, we found that lower ADR hotels saw a 341% increase in click volume for hotels in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, while only seeing a 14% increase in all other US states.

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One ROAS to Rule Them All? No.

When optimizing our hotel metasearch campaigns, many of us get caught up in the day-to-day of bid changes, statistical analysis, and UI experiments as the main ways we affect the performance of our meta portfolio. However, one thing we often forget to do while working hard to achieve our goals, is to – you know – reevaluate our goals.

This process of reevaluation is actually incredibly important, and can have just as many tangible performance benefits as your well-thought out bid strategy. I’m going to talk about one of these here – maximizing your booking volume at a ROAS goal – but to be specific, let’s make a nice thesis statement…

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New Nearby Deal Placement Spotted on Google

We’re seeing a new Deals placement for certain hotel queries on Google, now placed above the top ad slot. Clicking it brings you into the map results with the “Nearby Deal” preselected. From our observations, it appears that the Deals are nearby properties with similar ratings and amenities.

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Interesting Places AI is Being Used In Travel

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a term that is applied to an entity that mimics cognitive functions associated with human behavior. This mimicry occurs as the […]

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Google Launches Trip Planner on Desktop

There are clearly a lot of big things going on with Google travel recently. In January we first posted about Google’s destination planning experience on mobile and have […]

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Major Experiment Promotes Google’s Hotel Ads

As of this morning and last night we’re seeing a major new experiment pop up across domains for hotel specific searches. The new format shifts the Hotel Ads unit from its usual home in the knowledge panel to the middle of the screen, sometimes even giving it preference over Text Ads…

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How Engineers Can Help Drive Innovation

Every engineer out there is looking to build something amazing, just like every visionary likes to see their ideas come to life. Unfortunately, innovation can be lost in the day to day, technicalities, other priorities, and requirements documents. All of these have created pitfalls for many promising projects, but it doesn’t have to be the case if you can be aware of where those pitfalls may pop up and implement a little bit of autonomy in bridging those gaps.

Here are a few things that we do to keep our engineering team connected to and at the forefront of innovation.

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Crowdsourcing for Better Hotel Search Results

Searching for a hotel this week, I kept seeing a feature pop up that we’ve written about a little bit in the past. If you […]

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