Recently, Trivago implemented a test across select small markets that could shake up how the auction will behave in the future. This test has created fixed positions for three out of the four top ad positions that are shown.
What does this mean for advertisers?
This is currently just a test to see how the algorithm ranks the top four ad positions and has not had site-wide implementation. Below you can see the differences between the experiment in test markets and what the rest of the world sees when they visit Trivago.
What has changed about the alternative spots in the top four?
The way the first position in the auction is selected has largely gone unchanged, while the next three spots now see different criteria in their algorithms. The second spot, usually occupied by suppliers, is exclusively displaying suppliers that direct the traveler directly to the hotel website rather than the highest bidder between suppliers and OTAs. The third spot is reserved for either Trivago Express Bookings or an alternate deal. The final ad slot will be reserved for the best rate available with a competitive CPC in a case where more than one has the best price.
What does an experiment like this mean for future auctions?
There are a few hypotheses we feel could warrant this step from Trivago. Click traffic is primarily drawn to the top spot; it’s the easiest to see, offers a feasible rate and is most often the first option travelers are drawn to when visiting a travel website. This test could be used to study auction behavior with defined slots for advertisers, to determine if this new logic disperses click traffic, which would lead to more competitive CPC prices across auctions.
It will be interesting to see how this test affects overall CPC, CVR and CTR in both suppliers and OTAs as well as the importance of the top position in the auction.