Google Adds Budget-Conscious Travel Search Capabilities
Whether to a nearby beach or a city across the globe, travel can be exhilarating. And expensive. Travelers spent an estimated 1 trillion dollars in 2017 alone.
Sadly, planning a trip is often the opposite of exhilarating. Sorting through hundreds of resources, hoping you snagged the best deal—and getting anxious you didn’t—can exhaust even the most experienced jet-setter.
To fight the chaos, Google is consolidating and expanding their online travel services to help users find budget-friendly options, all in one place. As such, they’ve recently made a few changes. Follow these updates as you gear up for summer road trips and travels!
Updates to Watch
#1 Hotels Search Updates
As with Google Flights, users can now begin the hotel booking process directly through Google. According to Search Engine Journal, this is part of Google’s long-term travel strategy.
“Google intends to integrate Google Flights into hotel searches and vice versa. Eventually, Google wants users to be able to easily toggle back and forth between them.”
Google also added a deals filter to its hotel search. Previously, Google would mark deals uncovered by its machine learning algorithm on an ad hoc basis. With the update, this practice will be more consistently applied and searchable.
#2 Google Flights Updates
In an effort to further differentiate its travel services, Google is offering users the ability to search destinations by budget. So, if someone in New York wants a sunny weekend getaway, they can search all available flights under, say, $250. Results will be displayed in the traditional Google Flights map.
Additionally, Google now offers price insights on most flights. Using historical price data, Google shows whether the price you’re seeing is typical, high, or low. Like the popular travel app Hopper, it will also predict how prices will likely change going forward.
#3 New Hotel Review Aggregator
To consolidate travel search results, Google is changing the way they aggregate hotel reviews.
“We’ve updated how Reviews look for hotels on Desktop Google Maps. Now, Desktop Google Maps displays reviews from both Google users and third-party providers,” wrote Kara, a Community Manager at Google.
Google will not disclose a list of third-party providers from whom it’ll be sourcing reviews, but the original community post did reveal that Google will be working with TrustYou, a third-party hotel response solution, to handle these reviews. It is unclear how this new system will affect the quality of available reviews in Google hotel search results.
Budget-conscious travelers have never had more resources available when planning their next trip. Given the plethora of available choices, it’s never been more critical to manage your business’s search presence. Unsure where to start? Contact GPO. We can show you how to optimize your search presence using structured data so that Google can easily find, ingest, and showcase your hotel information to prospective travelers.