From Google Hotel Finder to Google Flight Search, Maps and Tour Finder, the search engine giant’s far-flung travel offerings have come under the spotlight anew this week with Room 77′s announcement that Google has licensed its hotel metasearch technology and hired a bunch of Room 77′s engineers.

There are varying opinions about the import of the deal, which may be less about technology, and more of a talent grab.

“This deal was the first round in a typical Silicon Valley ‘soft landing’ for Room 77 and an acquihire for Google,” argues Max Rayner, a partner at Hudson Crossing. “Room 77 was finding it hard to get enough traction at the same time that Google came to realize that the hospitality ecosystem is complex enough that actual domain knowledge is needed.”

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