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Google Makes Gains in Hotel Advertising

Google may not become a full-fledged online travel agency, but it is stepping up its hotel advertising game.

According to research reported by Skift, 58 percent of leisure travelers and 68 percent of business travelers start their shopping and booking process through a search engine like Google. Google is looking to capitalize on that by inserting themselves more fully into the world of hotel advertising.

The company recently launched an updated website for hoteliers who want to participate in Google’s Hotel Ads program. The program allows hotels to purchase ads that will show right in the search engine without having to go to a separate website. Through Google, you can compare prices on third-party sites, check availability, and start the booking process. Independent hotels working through a third party to manage their Google campaigns also benefit from the new site, which now offers the opportunity to search and filter through 47 third-party integration companies. This helps make Google a fully rounded resource for travelers looking for easy trip booking.

“For many years, a huge portion of travel research has touched and gone through Google,” Nicholas Ward, cofounder and president of Hotel Ads integration partner Koddi, told Skift. “I believe this growth is an indication that more travel search is starting to happen on Google instead of just going through, which seems to be in line with their goals given all of their innovation in the space. In the past year, we’ve seen them effectively guiding users from regional and destination queries to navigational and hotel-specific queries with their newer travel features. Today as a user, I can search for ‘fort worth,’ and then click through to a secondary search that brings up ‘fort worth hotels,’ and then end up on a hotel-specific result set and it’s pretty seamless. This allows for a lot of growth in hotel searches even if the industry isn’t up at the same level.”

[Photo: Google]

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