Google brings hotel price ads and booking front and center

There’s no missing it: Google’s experimentation with hotel price ads and booking is becoming more dramatic and prominent.

Previously, one of the ways you could access the hotel ads and Book Now feature was from Google Place pages.

But now, as highlighted by the Understanding Google Maps & Local Search blog, Google is displaying hotel price ads with booking functionality within organic search results and seven-packs on initial search results pages.

Take a look at the online travel agency ads and Clift San Francisco Hotel ad in the following seven-pack, which appears after conducting a “San Francisco hotels” query and clicking on the $344 Clift San Francisco Hotel rate:

clifthotel

You can book the room on Priceline, Expedia, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Booking.com or the hotel website. Alternately, you can click on the Place page link to access thousands of user reviews, get hotel details, view the hotel on a Google Map, enter your travel dates and book the room on the aforementioned sites.

But, the display of hotel price ads, with their booking functionality, in initial search results pages takes the experimentation to new levels.

It’s like the ads are no longer in Chapter 2, but show up on the glossy book jacket.

And, then, when you conduct a Google search for “Los Angeles hotels,” you’ll see the hotel price ads with booking capabilities and Place page links to the right of organic search results on the initial search results page like this:

lahotels

This puts hotel price ads and booking on Main Street — in front of millions of eyeballs — as Google searches for the most effective delivery formats.

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Dennis Schaal

About the Writer :: Dennis Schaal

Dennis Schaal was North American editor for Tnooz.

 

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  19. Jonathan

    That was a smart move by The Handlery. Too bad it’s for naught. Those tags are going away as per Google:

    http://www.google.com/support/places/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=171907

     
  20. RobertKCole

    Based on my review of the changes across several destinations, google appears to be doing some A/B testing. The most common format for the main portion of the results page appears to be:

    Paid Listings
    2 Organic Listings
    7-Pack of Maps/Rate Enabled Listings
    8 Organic Listings

    (Seen on Orlando, Los Angeles, Dallas, Seattle, Topeka, etc.)

    In other destinations the display is as shown in the article (San Francisco, New York, Phoenix, Denver, Boise) show an alternate display:

    Paid Listings
    7-Pack of Maps/Rate Enabled Listings
    10 Organic Listings

    Two interesting observations –

    In the first example where the 2 organic listings were above the Maps/Rate Enabled 7-pack in each city checked, either Expedia or Trip Advisor captured top placement.

    Also, all bets are on that coupon tag The Handlery Union Square has so astutely titled “Make a Reservation” will become the rule for hotels wanting to maximize direct bookings from these listings.

     
 
 

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