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:

hotel website speed

More from Google here about website speeds and optimisation.

NB: Website speed image via Shuttestock.

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.



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  1. John Morgan

    This post says nothing! There is no data analyzed from which conclusions could have be drawn about ranking.

    It would have been better for the solutions company to compare the ranking in relation to site speed as this what is insinuated by this post.

    Show me the penalty!

    It is likely the complex website although slower are much better structured to benefit from all those other facets in Google’s Algorithms.

  2. Simona @ Alia Accommodation

    And who believes anymore Google “sayings” and these studies? It became obvious that over the years it just became an “very greedy” corporations favouring the big companies, not the small fish hard-working. And the fools like me and dare to say, even you, Kevin, are believing!!
    Practical sample:
    I suppose we would fall under that “lower star” category just because we are vacation rentals company.
    Real life sample: “Bucharest accommodation” search; we were the first reulst for more than 9 years, went lower last 2 years, under booking, expedia, tripadvisor, etc – desktop: 91 grade; mobile: 75 – has a 84 grade, still not 85 and they show up firsts for almost anything in the hotels world. Mobile grade is 67. – desktop: 73; mobile 61 – desktop: 68; mobile 60 – desltop: 59; mobile 51.

    Data is “fresh from the oven”, ran the tests right now.

    So, what do you think Ryan Solutions?? Just other fools like the rest of us, obeying the rules!

    Best wishes!


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