Google expands hotel price ads in Google Maps

Until now, only a limited number of advertisers could show hotel pricing and availability in Google Maps, but now Google is expanding its pay-for-click hotel price advertising program.

In a Google Places support forum posting Feb. 4, Brianna, a Google employee, describes the expansion:

“What you’re seeing is a new feature that shows price and availability for hotels.  We’re currently working with a number of partners to allow users to click through and begin the booking process.  In addition, we’re working to expand these partnerships and exploring ways to allow individual hoteliers to easily share updated pricing /availability.  In the interim, you can already add direct booking links in Google Places (see help article).Thanks for your excitement about participating; we’re looking forward to opening this up to more partners.”

Trust International, the Frankfurt-based hotel CRS vendor, is one of Google’s new partners in expanding the hotel price ad program in Google Maps.

Trust explains to its hotel clients that if they participate in the program, then their hotel pricing will be displayed next to organic search results in Google Maps when users search for hotels and enter their trip dates.


When users click on the price, they will see a list of advertisers and can click through to book on the online travel agency or hotel website.

For clients of Trust, which is a Google reseller of the hotel price ads, their availability and pricing will be generated by Trust’s yourVoyager CRS solution.

The Google hotel price ad program currently is available in Google Maps for English language users, but there are plans to expand it into Google Places and other Google domains, says Nigel Russell, Trust’s senior director of product management.

Trust explains that Google hotel price ads do not impact search ranking on Google Maps.

In the future, it is expected that users will be able “to sort and filter results on selected hotel attributes, including price,” Trust says.

Russell says Google is expanding its partnerships with large players for hotel price ads to add hotels and because Google wants to obtain reliable pricing and availability information.

The expansion of hotel search and pricing in Google Maps has been much-anticipated and feared by competitors.

Now, it’s happening.

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Dennis Schaal

About the Writer :: Dennis Schaal

Dennis Schaal was North American editor for Tnooz.



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  1. Webmetro

    is it possible to enter hotels program without / etc?

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  6. Andreas Schuerrle

    The trend for hotels really is gaining control over their online bookings back and Google might just help them do so. Another very interesting website with a couple of good explanatory videos and graphs is

  7. Duncan

    On the cards for some time, and potentially a game changer IF…..the layman utilised Google maps for their hotel searches. However, it certainly rings true of the majority of the UK hotel booking market, that they are brand or price driven and will generally do the intricacies of sourcing their room on an OTA or hotel aggregator site, following the ‘old school’ journey of doing a text search on textual search engine or meta pages first.

    Us commentators, being in the industry, focus on these changes because we know how the internet works, in and out, in minutiae as it’s our business to understand it. However for many of Expedia, et al’s customers who are not in the online industry…they won’t necessarily perceive the difference between sponsored and organic search results, nor even engage with some of Google’s other features e.g maps, shopping etc.

    So it remains to be seen how much this will really impact on user trend in the medium term. It’s enough to put the frighteners on some in our industry though.

  8. Oz Har Adir

    While as a search tool Google Maps still comes short of the leading Meta Searches, I think that the inclusion of the hotel site in the results is a great differentiator to the meta search strategy to focus on OTA’s.
    I think that the hotel site is something the user NEEDS to see before booking, and if Google is able to create a paid relationship with the hotels on this basis – it could sell it as a stand alone product to OTA’s and Meta Search engines, which would now have an easy and cost effective reason to show the hotel site for those who find it useful.

  9. Martin Soler - Hotel Marketing

    This is big news, but I think it will be used with caution by hotels. Since hotels that give better rates on their sites will now be “exposed” by the OTAs since OTAs will easily be able to crawl their rates and come down harder on violations of rate parity.
    As a hotelier, I wouldn’t put my rates there for that very reason.
    Second, and Expedia are some of Google’s biggest customers with Expedia being #3 internationally. I am not so sure they are going thwart them very soon.
    But let’s see how this pans out… I hope Synxis gets “Google ready” soon.

    • Graham

      Price comparison has been happening in metasearch for a long time, so hotels already involved with this wont’t seen an issue with having their rates compared.

      I find it hard to believe that google wouldn’t make commission from the bookings made via their OTA partners, but they say its CPC for the independents- means there is still more incentive for Google to push OTA’s for now (If this is the case).

      But I agree with the other commenters, this is huge and there will be no regulation or outcry. When Google’s making you money they’re your best friend, right?

  10. Dennis Schaal

    Dennis Schaal

    Gautam: I agree that this is big news. Many have feared this for a long time….that Google will use its market power to thwart OTAs and metasearch players in their hotel businesses. After all, there is a lot more money in hotels than there is for air. Point well taken.

  11. Gautam Lulla

    I think this news is somehow as big or maybe bigger than the ITA acquisition. After all, the OTAs, Expedia as the poster child, make more money from hotels than they do from Airlines.

    Now that there’s no ITA-style acquisition to impede (a la Fairsearch) and Google has been (and continues to) pointing users to OTA sites, what argument will OTAs have to try to block this?

    Will Google (eventually) stop pointing users to OTA sites? Will that be considered an abuse of power? Would it (not) be fair considering that Trip Advisor (owned/operated by Expedia) has prevented Google from using it’s reviews?


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