Hotels websites creak along, face Google search penalty
Lower star rated hotels run faster than their counterparts at the higher end of the quality spectrum, but the sector as a whole is under-performing.
Research from database marketing and CRM provider Ryan Solutions was carried out to determine how many hotel websites fall foul of the requirements needed by Google to effectively index content for search results.
In other words, if a brand has a slow website, Google will punish it in SEO.
The study looked at 4,800 hotel websites around the world, covering a mixture of star-rated properties, found that the average score was 68.7 out of 100.
Google considers of a score of at least 85 to be “performing well” in terms of loading speed.
Diving into the results further, Ryan Solutions found that just 13% of sites had a score of 85 or higher.
The 4-5 star rated properties had an average of 64.5; 3-3.5 star hotels had a score of 68.2; and 2-2.5 had 69.9.
Only 6% of the 4-5 star hotels had a score over the hallowed 85 number, with 11.1% of 3-3.5 stars and 16.3% of the lowest rated properties.
The company believes the low score for the 4-5 star rated properties is due to “increased complexity” of newer websites.
“Despite being imperfect, these scores are an interesting insight into how Google views hotel websites relative to the factors they consider in their ranking algorithm.
“We may not always agree with their rules, but to claim our share of the reach they provide, we do have to play by them.”
Here is a chart of the results:
More from Google here about website speeds and optimisation.
NB: Website speed image via Shuttestock.
Kevin is senior editor and a co-founder at Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.
He has worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology, a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism and publishes his first book - a biography about Depeche Mode - in late-2016.