SEARCH engine giant Google has given an Oxfordshire business a top web award.

Internet-based holiday company Sheepskin, which has its headquarters on the Wheatley Business Park, rents out luxury holiday cottages.

The company, which was founded in 2009, has now been named travel winner in Google’s Best of British Web competition.

It beat competition from hundreds of other companies from across the UK.

Founder Helen Shaw said: “Winning the competition means a lot to us, as we have worked hard to deliver what our customers want through our collection and brand online.

“The website allows us to reach a huge market and we have learned to promote ourselves to the right audiences through search and social media.

“Making small changes to the site has had a big impact on our success.

“The website is vital to our business, so we are delighted to be recognised by Google.”

Google launched the award in an attempt to inspire small businesses to make the most of their websites.

A recent survey by IPSOS showed 40 per cent of small to medium-sized businesses in the UK did not have a website.

Of those, 60 per cent said they thought a website was not necessary for them.

Ms Shaw, who founded the company with her partner, Adam Lloyd, added: “We set up the company because we had been so frustrated with our experiences of holiday cottages.

“We are trying to do something a little bit different. We want Sheepskin to be somewhere people go because they know they will find a great place to stay.

“We tailor each stay to each guest and we help people plan their holidays. We are very selective about our homes.”

The couple, who met while working for food multinational Kraft, visit each of the holiday homes they recommend through their site personally.

They named their company, which currently has three full-time employees, Sheepskin because of ist connotations with natural comfort.

Matt Brittin, the managing director of Google UK, said: “We are delighted to crown Sheepskin as the travel winner of our competition to find the country’s most outstanding small business websites.

“Sheepskin is a great example to other businesses in the industry; it really demonstrates how the use of online marketing can make a big difference to the number of users visiting your website.

“We hope that their success will inspire others to make the most of the internet.”

Sheepskin’s website is at