GigaOM: "Google made a significant strategic shift last week when it said it would spend $700 million to buy ITA Software and its flight information business. Google had previously stayed away from vertical search when possible, but now it will be smack in the middle of the travel vertical: ITA is estimated to be involved in about 50 percent of U.S. airfare searches, including those on Bing and Kayak.
Google usually prefers “general tools for search,” Google VP Marissa Mayer said on a conference call about the ITA deal. But at times, “to provide the best user experience and most relevant results we need to have a special set of data and/or a vertical interface to really express what [users are] looking for” — and that’s true in air travel where user queries about dates and locations are particularly complicated, she said."
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