Google is quickly becoming the complete funnel for many of the searches and transactions we make online.
NB: This is an article from Travelboom
When we first published this article in 2018, Google already made significant strides within the hotel and travel space and was in the process of adding even more features and functionalities. According to a recent study by Similarweb (2022), as of October 2021, nearly 20% of keyword searches resulted in a search engine results page (SERP) feature on the results page. In January 2020, that percentage was lower than 5%.
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Hoteliers are no stranger to Google’s SERP features like hotel listings, map packs, pricing tools, and ad-supported spaces. Ultimately, it’s Google’s way of keeping its nearly 90% search market share within its search and buying ecosystem.
In this article, we are going to look at the updates Google has made over the past several years to its hotel and travel SERP results and features, and their effects on hotels and OTAs.
Google Improves the Hotel Listing Experience
Back in October 2018, Google made a significant announcement that they would be rolling out a suite of design and functionality improvements to the hotel shopping experience. The gist of the announcement is that the information you can find within Google’s own environment would rival that of TripAdvisor and other OTAs.
In doing so, Google put the finishing pieces on what has arguably become the most complete hotel shopping and booking system available. Within Google’s hotel shopping ecosystem, you’ll find price comparisons, hotel details and overviews, Google reviews, reviews sourced from around the web, and hotel photos.
As a hotel, it’s on you to ensure the information on your hotel listing is accurate. Just in case you haven’t read our Google Business Profile for Hotels guide, Google Business Profile is going to be the place to start for any hotelier. By ensuring you have an optimized hotel listing, compelling photos, and are responding to guest reviews, you will put yourself in a position for success.
Improved Hotel Searching and Filtering
In 2018, Google rolled out a new search and filtering system to the search engine results page for hotel searches. In 2022, similar features still exist in addition to new hotel highlight icons and hotel listing callouts.
Data has already proven that a vast majority of hotel decisions begin with a search and, based on the ever-evolving hotel SERP tools, customers will continue to stay on Google’s system for much longer as they slice and dice to find their perfect hotel.
Google’s push to gather more and more reviews makes searches even more valuable. Back in 2018, Google was revealed as the number one online review site, outperforming Tripadvisor and other OTAs. Today, Google continues to be a leading source for hotel reviews. Now, searchers can get enough information from Google to validate a booking decision without having to visit Tripadvisor or an OTA.
Improved Hotel Price Insights
Google Flights is the most convenient and most accurate way to search and find the best airline deals. Over the years Google has attempted to bring this same level of convenience to the hotel space. Google has upped its game with several new tools and updates to existing tools: