Introduction of Google’s Hotel Price Ads Platform

With the introduction of Google’s Hotel Price Ads (HPA) Google have shown that they are fully committed to entering the hotel metasearch arena.

Introduction of Google’s Hotel Price Ads Platform

As we all know, Google are continually innovating and enhancing their platforms to ensure they provide their users with everything they could possibly need in order to make their lives that bit easier. This has been the case recently within the hotel sector, coming off the back of Google Hotel Finder; the tech giant has launched their own specific Hotel Price Ads platform with the mission of ensuring that users are given as much information as they could possibly need to make an informed booking decision. As our friends at Google have always said:

“The perfect search engine should understand exactly what you mean and give you back exactly what you need”.

With the introduction of Google’s Hotel Price Ads (HPA) Google have shown that they are fully committed to entering the hotel metasearch arena. The HPAs themselves are due to feature across a number of Google’s different products including Google Hotel Finder and Google Maps as well as being made readily available via Google search on desktop, tablet and gradually, mobile devices.

To explain a little bit more about the HPAs and what they offer; these ads allow organisations such as online travel agencies and hotel suppliers to display pricing as well as availability information for their properties. This information appears next to the usual search results across the various Google domains I mentioned earlier (Hotel Finder, Maps, Search). The theory behind this introduction is that it allows users to obtain the information they need in order to make fast booking decisions and it gives the organisations using this function better qualified leads from users who are on the verge of booking a room. Google have said themselves:

“Hotel Price Ads is a feature that assists users who are researching travel by surfacing hotel rates and availability across Google properties”.

According to Google, this introduction should be good news for those utilising the platform as there should be an increase in overall traffic to the sites with the promise of a greater ROI. However, it is vitally important that we at Equator keep a very close eye on this going forward on behalf of our hotel clients as there will undoubtedly be questions that arise on how to effectively manage and optimise account activity in the coming weeks and months.

Looking at the placement of these ads on the page, they appear above the fold between the top PPC results and organic listings. Given that the hotel prices are clearly displayed within the HPAs, there is potential that click-through activity will be impacted, more specifically for generic/non-brand search queries. When a user does click on one of these HPAs they are immediately taken into the booking process which will inevitably have an impact upon the users journey through the booking funnel as well as what offers they can be exposed to on the road to conversion. The introduction of the HPAs means that there will be a reduction in the number of results shown on a page, potentially impacting upon both PPC ads and organic results. The reduction in the number of local non-brand/generic listings shown could have the potential to impact Click-Through-Rate and something we will have to keep a close eye on going forward. It is going to become increasingly more important for our hotel clients to be extremely accurate with the information they have active within their sites as well as in Google local business listings as Google themselves will be looking to use that content to populate their HPAs.

As a digital agency with a significant number of hotel clients it’s vital that we keep on top of these changes implemented by our partners within the industry, especially with the rate Google are continually adapting and enhancing their services. Ensuring we utilise our resources and use these new platforms to the betterment of our clients will continue to be our number one focus and the very reason we keep ourselves in the know!