Monthly Archives: April 2016

Welcoming Chantelle, Jordan, And Liz To Rome2rio

The team at Rome2rio continues to grow apace. This month we’ve added a trio of top talent to our team. Meet Chantelle, Jordan, and Liz.

Chantelle, Liz and Jordan Rome2rio

Chantelle, Liz, and Jordan

Chantelle has almost ten years digital project management experience delivering online solutions within both agency and internal educational publishing spaces. She joins the content team at Rome2Rio on a part-time basis, her remaining time spent looking after her young family at home. Chantelle will be managing data on the site, ensuring the best information and experience for the user.

Jordan has joined us after having recently completed a Masters in Software Engineering at the University of Melbourne. He’ll be working on projects involving the full software stack, such as developing our flight booking integration. Jordan has previously worked at local start-up, 2Mar Robotics and IBM Research’s Melbourne lab.

Liz brings 15 years global experience delivering digital content and product solutions for major brands around the world including seven years with Lonely Planet.  Her passion for all things travel continues with Rome2Rio.

If you are interested in joining our team then keep an eye on our jobs page or shoot an email to jobs(at)rome2rio.com introducing yourself.

– Kirsteene

Rome2rio, based in Melbourne, Australia, is organising the world’s transport information. We offer a multi-modal, door-to-door travel search engine that returns itineraries for air, train, coach, ferry, mass transit and driving options to and from any location. Discover the possibilities at www.rome2rio.com

HTTPS Results in 7% Google AdX Revenue Drop

For some time now, Google has been publicly encouraging website owners to transition to HTTPS, a more secure version of the ubiquitous HTTP protocol that powers the web. You can identify websites that use HTTPS with the padlock symbol in the address bar:

HTTPS

In August 2014, Google went one step further and used their considerable influence as the world’s most popular search engine to entice website owners to make the switch, by announcing an SEO ranking boost for sites that use HTTPS. Although the ranking boost is small, Google suggests it will increase with time.

Rome2rio has supported HTTPS for some time now. We use it for parts of the site related to user accounts, passwords, and ticket purchases. However, in July last year, we decided to take the plunge and force all users to view the entire site through HTTPS. Technically the project went smoothly, but after ramping the change to 100%, we noticed a significant drop in our Google advertising revenue.

Our research quickly revealed that other website owners had experienced that same thing. We learnt that not all advertisers that place bids through the Google ads system support HTTPS, resulting in fewer ad impression bids and lower overall ad revenue. We learnt that many website owners had transitioned back to HTTP for this reason. We concluded the revenue drop was too large to justify the switch to HTTPS, so we also made the switch back.

In January, we decided to re-visit the HTTPS question. This time, we properly measured the potential impact with an A/B split test. We redirected visitors to HTTPS for 5% of pages and measured the change in ad revenue. Our conclusion; ad revenue was 7% lower for the HTTPS pages.

We dug down further and examined the impact on ad revenue for each of Rome2rio’s top advertisers:

Revenue change

The data illustrates that the overall 7% drop in revenue appears largely due to a handful of advertisers where revenue drops by more than 40%.

Google is working hard to transition all advertisers to HTTPS, and we hope to see this 7% figure decrease when we next repeat this A/B test in 6 to 12 months.

– Michael

 

Rome2rio, based in Melbourne, Australia, is organising the world’s transport information.
We offer a multi-modal, door-to-door travel search engine that returns itineraries
for air, train, coach, ferry, mass transit and driving options to and from any location. Discover the possibilities at www.rome2rio.com