Google tests hotel reservation tracking in its search results, using your booking e-mails
Google is testing a new function that automatically crawls a Gmail user’s in-box to fetch hotel reservation confirmation e-mails and then spotlight those confirmations in natural search results when the user runs an ordinary Google.com search on a phrase like “my reservations.”
This is the next phase in a trial that began in August, when Google began testing a service that searches a Gmail user’s in-box to find flight reservation confirmations and then displays select details from the e-mail in a box above or to the right of the results after an routine search on a phrase like “my flights.”
Participants in the field trial can now search for the phrase “my hotel reservation” via google.com and the search engine will fetch a list of recent hotel reservations from select hotels. As of today, you have to be a US user and sign up to participate in the Google Field Trial to see the results, th0ugh not all participants in the field trial are yet able to see this functionality.
Obviously, if the field trial is successful, the feature may be rolled out to all users on desktop and mobile browsers.
For a couple of months now, Google has crawled user Gmail accounts for hotel and flight reservations for Google Now on Android devices, which lets you sign up for push alerts of relevant flight delays and hotel check-out.
Other search options include “my restaurant reservations” if a user booked through OpenTable. People with tickets booked via Ticketmaster or Eventbrite can search for “my events” to see relevant event information. Searching on “my purchases” with fetch your latest Amazon orders.
Sean O’Neill is a New Jersey-based reporter for Tnooz. He is also a daily contributor of consumer news to LonelyPlanet.com.
He used to work for BBC Travel, BudgetTravel.com, and Kiplinger's, and used to live in London, New York City, and Washington, DC.