Google has been shaking up the travel space, yet again! This time, they made changes to their mobile and desktop interfaces in a significant way.
Google added a feature called ‘Destinations on Google’ for mobile users, and removed text ads from the right hand side of search results for desktop users.
Here’s all of the details on these changes, and what it means for small accommodation providers.
Google launched a new search feature, designed to help travelers plan their vacations. It only works on mobile – but that’s intentional. Google found that in 2015, there was a 50% increase in travel-related questions on mobile (Source).
Search for a country, state, or city, and add ‘destination’ to your search query before hitting the Enter key. You can then select ‘Plan A Trip’, and Google will show you all of the information you need to know about the destination.
You’ll be shown the top sights to see, best times to visit, and even high and low temperatures per month!
And of course, it’s a cost planning interface, detailing the average costs for hotel and airfares at different times of the year.
Here’s a video on how it works:
This recent focus on mobile is not something you should take lightly. Mobile usage is on the rise, and you need to adapt accordingly.
Make sure your website is responsive, and so is your booking engine. You don’t want mobile users to use Google to land on your website only to be put off by how clunky it is.
It’s also obvious that Google is moving more into the trip planning space, so you should also consider signing up with Google to market your hotel online.
Google has officially removed right-hand text ads from search results when users are searching on a desktop. Also, the number of ads displayed per search result page was reduced from 11 to 7.
Now, Google are showing ads above organic results, as well as at the bottom of search results. And in place of text ads, users will see what’s called a ‘Knowledge Panel’.
Small accommodation providers need to keep their business listings up to date. If you have a profile and someone searches for your property, it will appear in the ‘Knowledge Panel’.
Additionally, if you’re already using Google Adwords to sell your small hotel rooms, keep an eye on advertising costs, because bids will likely need to be adjusted.
Sign up to our blog and receive regular updates on the content you're intoSign up now
Send this to a friend