Does Google want to take over the way travelers book hotels? Google recently rolled out some new features regarding flights and hotels that should be causing all the big players in the travel industry to turn their heads. Google’s dominance as a search engine means that creating a one-stop shop for booking every travel need would be a piece of cake for the company. Travel companies that play along can actually win big under this new shakeup from Google. Customers may eventually be forced to shop within a specific funnel when hunting for travel deals online. In addition, Google’s creation of a one-stop shop for travel is undoubtedly designed to push people to book reservations on the spot using their smartphones.
Most of us are already familiar with Google Flights. That simple platform allows users to search for flights using a departure city, a landing city and travel dates. Google recently rolled out a full-fledged destination platform for hotels called Google Hotel Search. The platform seems simple enough. Users just need to plug in their destinations and travel dates to view available hotel rooms. Filters regarding details like guest ratings and amenities can also be used during the search process.
What should make people take notice regarding Google’s new hotel website is that the tech giant seems to be steering away from simply displaying results and moving toward promoting certain options over others. Users can use a special booking button when they want to book a room rate that they encounter after searching with Google. This button usually takes users to third-party booking websites. However, users may also encounter an option that allows them to book directly on Google using a third-party brand like Hotels.com, Agoda, Amoma.com, Expedia Thailand, Hotel Clover, Booking.com, Trip.com, Wotif.com or Otel.com.
Google has every advantage over competitors when it comes to offering deals and options that travelers are looking for when browsing for hotel rooms online. The tech giant is actually using machine learning to highlight deals on hotel rooms. Google has optimized its hotel-related search results to make it easier for people using smartphones to make booking decisions in a snap. Introducing the ability to book directly through Google is a tactic that the company is using to encourage one-stop booking.
How will Google cash in when it comes to hotel bookings? The company isn’t getting in the business of actually offering hotel rooms. It will instead focus on bringing in money through advertising. Hotel brands and third-party booking websites will increasingly need to advertise with Google if they want to get in front of the eyes of travelers.
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