Google Vacation Rentals - a threat to leading booking portals?
Millions of travelers use internet search engines (like Google) every day to find and book accommodation. The number of searches with the intention of finding vacation accommodation is constantly increasing.
To respond to this demand, in 2019 Google created Google Vacation Rentals, a product that integrates short-term rental ads.
Google Vacation Rentals is the latest addition to Google's suite of travel search products aimed at simplifying the user experience.
But how can renters use this to attract more bookings?
In this article, we'll explain everything you need to know about Google Vacation Rentals—how listings are shown to guests, the benefits, and how to get listed in the first place.
What is Google Vacation Rentals?
The Google Travel Desktop platform becomes the place where Google users can plan their entire trip.
The search giant, with its powerful algorithms based on data and machine learning, wants to create a travel platform for users based on their interests and preferences.
Google Vacation Rentals is part of the search engine's effort to improve the search experience, making it easier to plan and book trips through Google.
In 2011, the company introduced Google Hotel Ads, which display hotel room availability and prices directly in search results. Their next travel product was Google Flights, which works in a similar way, making it easy to buy airline tickets.
And from 2019, holiday accommodation listings also appear in Google search results, making it easier for travelers to find and book alternative accommodation.
Advantages of advertising accommodation facilities through Google
Now that you know what Google Vacation Rentals is and what it does, let's take a look at some of the reasons why advertise accommodation facilities on Google:
- Google has a global reach – your short-term rental properties will be visible to millions of travelers.
- Highly Qualified Audience – You'll target people who use Google to plan, compare and book travel.
- Direct Bookings - Currently Google does not charge for bookings so you will get direct bookings without commission
- Generate income directly from your website - Google can be another in a series of sales channels where you can advertise your accommodation facilities, and if you use the Channel manager, your work is even faster and easier.
- Make sure you have an SSL certificate. Google penalizes insecure websites and guests will not feel safe booking through them.
- Each of your objects should have their own URL on your website so that Google recognizes them as separate units that they can promote.
- Use human-readable URLs that do not have search parameters such as question marks and numbers.
Google as a booking portal
One of the ways that potential guests can use Google to find vacation accommodation (villa, apartment, room, campsite...) is to search using the Vacations Rentals page on the platform Google Travel.
Google Travel is a product for organizing and searching trips that works on the concept of "everything in one place". Through the platform, you can search for flights, hotels and other forms of accommodation (rooms, apartments, villas), activities within the destination, etc.
It's one tool you can use to organize your entire trip.
It works on a similar principle to other booking portals such as HomeToGo or AirBNB.