Google plans to buy Frommer’s travel guides for $23 million to boost its local search and reviews capacity, the New York Times reported.
The move is another indication that Google is interested in also developing content in addition to displaying links, according to the Times.
Google competes with Web sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor and Citysearch in local search, which reaps advertising dollars.
Local advertising revenue overall is expected to grow to $150 billion in 2016, from $132 billion last year, the Times reported, with travel advertisers expected to spend $3.16 billion online this year, an increase of 23 percent over last year. Google will incorporate Frommer’s travel content into its local reviews.
“Our goal with local search is to help people find the local information they need — as quickly and easily as possible,” Google said in a statement Monday, the Times reported. “At times, we think the best result is to direct a user to some other site or product, and each day we send millions of customer referrals through our search products.”
With the purchase of Frommer’s, Google will compete with publishers, Hugh McGuire, founder of PressBooks.com, told the Times.
“Publishers should be worried about it,” McGuire told the paper. “What’s happening is that we’re going to start seeing a lot more business models around books that are incorporating the Internet, and publishers aren’t very keen on embracing that.”
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