Google is becoming a stronger player in the online travel agency scene

first_imgWhy not use Google when planning a trip and searching for a hotel? There are many more reviews and photos taken by users in Google’s hotel search redesign. Also, they can access guest reviews from Booking, Expedition and TripAdvisor, and from now on they have the ability to view user photos of hotels and rooms, not just promotional ones. “Google balances the user experience with the content of accommodation providers much better, which is great news for us hoteliers. This could, along with platforms like Fliggy and Airbnb’s acquisition of HotelTonight, shake things up in the world of online travel planning“, Concluded Chetan Patel, Vice President of Strategic Marketing and E-Commerce for Onyx Hospitality Group. Example of searching through Google Hotel Search Alternative accommodation among the results Search filters With its booking service, Google is moving towards the idea of ​​becoming a quasi-online travel agency. However, Google does not offer, for example, cancellations, but only reservations and ways to pay for accommodation by credit card or Google Pay. So, with the strengthening of Google booking, many users will prefer to make all their travel-related purchases directly through Google. When you click on a photo of a hotel in Google search, it redirects you to a page at the top of which, just below the photos of the accommodation, are the hotel name, address, categorization, phone number and a link to the official page. But consider the links highlighted in blue (DEAL $ 88, 17% less than usual) on the example of Yotel New York in the image above. These links do not redirect to the hotel website, but to Google Hotel Search. Google’s “homage” to HotelTonight There are many new attractive settings in the redesign. For example, from now on you can search for hotels by user ratings, budget amount options, luxury and the like. User generated photos and reviews The first two sentences of user reviews appear on Google, and when users click on it, it redirects them to the web page where it is located. Example of hotel accommodation on Google Hotel Search / Skift Google Hotel Search is a “double-edged sword” for hoteliers Pretty nice and intuitive design Google still prefers its own hotel search and booking feature to the detriment of competitors ’businesses. That has not changed. Paid ads are at the top of the accommodation search, and organic links are at the bottom of the page. Search results are sorted by paid ads Over the past few years, Google has experimented with hotel reservations on behalf of online travel agencies and hotel partners, but would have to spend hours searching for accommodation. It is easier to visit the online accommodation reservation service directly. In the redesign of the entire hotel search and accommodation reservation, there are more views while browsing the hotel via Google booking, reports Shift. The redesign contains photos of hotels and destinations, but also Google Maps with hotel prices, visible in Google search results. The design is quite attractive. Here are seven features of Google Hotel Search. “We are developing the way our hotel search engine works on smartphones to help customers search for options and make decisions on mobile phones. The new hotel search experience includes better price filtering, easier information on offers, and the ability to book directly from Google”, Said Eric Zimmerman, director of product management for Google’s travel, in an earlier blog. Although quite complicated, Google’s booking competitors, such as Expedition, Booking, and TripAdvisor, don’t benefit from free links on Google to the extent they had in previous years, but they still make money as paid advertisers in the Google Hotel Search app. Google explains in its blog that it also offers a filter for private accommodation in the search engine. A message may pop up for users: “Private accommodation is also available for the period you have selected.” Google has thus become a full-fledged accommodation booking service and has potential implications for booking sites like Airbnb. On the other hand, Google claims that they are only trying to improve the user experience of the search, and that hotels, which appear at the top of search results, appear there organically. Richard Holden, vice president of travel product management for Google, wrote about the new features of Google Hotels Search in a blog post last week and subtly mentioned the development of a complete hotel meta-search page and accommodation booking engine. There is even a new hotel search filter “for tonight” in Google’s redesign. When a user selects that filter and selects a hotel, Google automatically selects today’s arrival date and tomorrow’s departure date, making it easier for the user to search for overnight accommodation. Users can then book a hotel in two ways: by going to that hotel’s website, or by booking directly from Google through companies that partner with Google, such as Orbitz or Travelocity.last_img