Google removes fees for hotel reservation links


Hotels can now have booking links listed on Google at no cost, as the search giant announces it is avoiding paid links in favor of “organic” price comparison – a development that strengthens Google’s position in the market. metasearch space.

Prior to this update – announced by Google VP of Product Management Richard Holden – hotels and OTAs had to pay to list rates for bookable rooms on its price comparison meta-search platform, Google. Travel.

Holden (right): Switching to organic and free booking links for hotels on Google will be bOptimizing the confidence of reservations

Starting this week, hospitality players will receive two new locations for booking links under the “Overview” tab of Google Travel, in addition to a maximum of four paid ad slots. These paid links will also appear under the “Pricing” tab, in addition to an unlimited number of organic and free booking links from eligible partners. Organic links are based on pricing and availability information provided by the hotel.

Holden said the change will give consumers “more confidence in making decisions about booking.” He explained, “Users will find that they have more confidence in the product over time because they think they are seeing all the (available) offers. This, in turn, will benefit our partners, from small hotels to large OTAs. “

This development joins another change to Google’s metasearch product in January of last year, when it stopped charging airlines for direct booking links as part of Google Flights’ price comparison feature. . The same update was made to the list of purchasing products this year.

“We’re going to see a strong need for the industry to connect with consumers in the future. We see this as a great opportunity to make it available to anyone in the ecosystem (who is looking) for ways to effectively reach consumers coming out of a very difficult time, ”Holden said.

Last December, Google also rolled out its Travel Insights platform, which provides data-driven analytics on consumer travel demand and booking trends. This serves as a source of knowledge that hotels, travel agencies and governments can tap into to understand where travel potential is reappearing, Holden said.

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