2016 was a year full of fun new surprises for our favorite search engine. Travel, in particular, seems to be a special area of interest for Google as the search engine continued to revamp existing products and roll out brand new travel experiences.
From a travel perspective, hoteliers and travel marketers should already be fairly familiar with the Google Hotel Ads product. First debuting under the radar in 2011 as “Google Hotel Price Ads”, the search engine didn’t start fully pushing or promoting this travel product until well into 2014.
The program has undergone massive changes over the past several years from both a search engine perspective with how and where the rates are shown and presented and from a hotel perspective as far as account structure and bidding options – to name a few.
The concept of Google Hotel Ads is simple. Currently, these ads are shown for multiple brand specific and non-brand specific travel related queries across Google.com and GoogleMaps. The placements are optimized for performance based on how users engage on both desktop and mobile devices.
Additionally, Google Hotel Ads are customized to how a particular user is searching. For example, a user who searches for “Orlando hotels” will see a list of hotels versus a user who searches a particular hotel brand name.
Both individual hotels and hotel suppliers, like online travel agents and meta search sites, can provide rates to Google for inclusion on the hotel rate portion of a hotel card. After selecting a rate, a searcher is then redirected to the associated website or booking engine.