MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Beginning this week, Google is making it free for hotels and travel companies around the world to appear in hotel-booking links on google.com/travel.
In the past, hotel-booking links have been offered on Google via Hotel Ads, which display real-time pricing and availability for specific dates of travel.
“We’ve seen that users find these hotel-booking links to be highly useful, and partners find them to be a valuable source of potential customers,” notes a blog post by Richard Holden, vice-president, Product Management, Travel at Google. “With full access to a wider range of hotel prices, users will have a more comprehensive set of options as they research their trip and ultimately decide where to book.”
The change offers a new, free way for hotel and travel companies to reach potential customers. And, for advertisers, free booking links can extend the reach of existing Hotel Ads campaigns. Testing of the feature revealed all partner types benefitted from free booking links through increased booking traffic and user engagement.
Partners who already participate in the Hotel Prices API and Hotel Ads do not need to take any further action to appear in free booking links, and any hotel or travel company is eligible to participate via their Hotel Center account.
In the coming months, Google aims to improve the onboarding process for new partners on Hotel Center and introduce tools that allow individual hotels to provide their rates and availability directly, without complex technical requirements.