Business growth and revenue management are top priorities for most hotel owners, and these concepts tend to rely heavily on optimizing demand for hotel rooms. One of the ways hotels can do this is through the Google Hotels platform. In this article, you can find details on how this works and what the main benefits are.

What is Google Hotels?

Google Hotels is a hotel metasearch engine, which forms part of the wider Google search engine. It allows customers to search for and book hotels online, and allows those involved in hotel management to increase visibility and attract more bookings. The service originally launched in 2011 and was initially known as Google Hotel Finder.

Aside from its core functionality in helping users to find and book hotel rooms, Google Hotels is also valuable as a room rate comparison tool and a review platform. It will allow potential customers to compare feedback, along with prices for different hotels, and even prices on different platforms that are selling the same hotel rooms.

 Google Hotels

How Does Google Hotels Work?

The Google Hotels service is able to present users with information about all of the hotels that Google is aware of. This awareness could home about as a result of online travel agents (OTAs), other hotel metasearch engines, professional relationships between the hotel and Google, paid advertisements, and more.

Examples of the type of information presented include hotel descriptions, reviews, location data and price information. Google Hotels also allows users to book rooms directly through the platform, which means potential hotel customers do not ever need to leave Google. This results in a greatly streamlined booking process.

With that being said, Google Hotels also provides links to other platforms, including hotel websites and OTAs.

How Hoteliers Can Grow Their Bookings With Google Hotels?

For many travelers, Google represents the first destination for travel bookings, because it allows for instant price comparisons and the booking of hotels, airline tickets and much more. With this in mind, it makes sense for those involved with hotel marketing to capitalize on the platform’s popularity, in order to enhance hotel visibility.

While those within the hotel industry tend to favor direct bookings, because more of the money spent by the customer is retained by the hotel, it is a reality that the hotel industry is increasingly reliant on third-party services. These third parties can help to generate bookings, because customers discover hotels through them.

Google Hotels is unique in offering benefits associated with third-parties, while simultaneously boosting direct bookings.

What is the Difference Between Google Hotels and OTAs?

Online travel agents, or OTAs, sell services on behalf of companies in the travel industry, including hotels. In the process, they will take a commission fee, which will usually be a percentage of the amount the customer pays. As a result, while they have a clear role in your hotel marketing strategy, they can be expensive to rely on.

By contrast, Google Hotels is a metasearch engine, which searches other platforms, including OTAs, and shows availability information, along with the various room rates. In addition to this, hotels also have the opportunity to use Google Hotels to showcase their property, advertising rates and availability, and attract direct bookings.

What Are the Advantages of Google Hotel for Hoteliers?

In this section, you will be able to find out about some of the key advantages of using Google Hotels for those in the

1. Capture Customers Seeking a Hotel in Your Area

One of the big advantages of Google Hotels is the ability to attract and convert customers who are specifically seeking hotels in your area. This is important, because many Google users do not have a specific hotel in mind when they begin their search and they are seeking only the best available option in the location of their choice.

The results that are displayed when users enter a relevant search term will provide your hotel’s name, along with room rates, location details, reviews and various other pieces of information that can help to attract bookings.

2. Generate a Higher Number of Direct Bookings

Another crucial benefit of using Google Hotels is the ability to compete with OTAs for visibility in Google search results, while also linking customers directly to your hotel’s website and/or booking engine. Without this, customers would be more likely to book through those OTAs instead of going the direct route.

This is significant because direct bookings allow hotels to retain more of the money customers spend on the booking. After all, OTAs take a fairly large commission – sometimes exceeding 20 percent. If your hotel is not connected to any OTAs at all, Google Hotels helps to ensure you have a presence on search engine results pages.

3. Access to Important Customer Information

While Google’s service does essentially act as a link between the customer and the hotel, many bookings generated through Google Hotels are eventually made directly. As a result, when you generate bookings, you are able to gain access to valuable customer information, including contact details and demographic data.

When bookings are made through other third parties, they often gain ownership of the customer information instead. Such information is valuable for pre-arrival customer service, and the customer information can equally be used as part of a wider data collection strategy, so that the data can inform future business decisions.

4. Ownership of the Entire Customer Journey

In addition to gaining valuable customer information, another plus point associated with using Google Hotels is the opportunity to own the entire customer journey from start to finish.

This can be important for a number of reasons, but one of the most significant relates to pre-arrival communication. If a hotel has ownership of the entire journey, they can more easily communicate hotel policies with those who book, but also identify opportunities for up-selling and cross-selling too, which is vital for optimizing revenue.

How is Your Hotel Showcased in Google Hotels?

When you actually connect your hotel to the Google Hotels service, your hotel will be showcased in a number of different ways. You can find out more about these below:

In Search Results

The first and perhaps most obvious place your Google hotel ads will be displayed is within search engine results pages. Your hotel information and booking options will be shown to users who enter relevant search terms, such as those who are searching for hotels with your name, or for hotels close to your geographical location.

In Google Maps

Google Hotels will also display your hotel information within the Google Maps platform. This can be vital, because many travelers use Google Maps ahead of their trip in order to get a clear sense of local attractions, local facilities and nearby hotels. From the Maps interface, users are also able to book rooms directly.

In Google Assistant

Google Assistant is the name of Google’s AI-powered virtual assistant. It is found on smartphones, smart hubs and other similar devices, and allows hotels to reach users who are using voice search to find hotels. Furthermore, Google Assistant actually allows for bookings to be completed entirely through voice commands.

In Google Hotel Search

Finally, hotel ads will also be displayed when users visit the dedicated Google Hotels website ( and conduct a relevant search. This is useful, because these users have very clear intent with their searches and they are also among the most likely to actually complete a booking.

What Are the Costs for Hoteliers Selling Rooms via Google Hotels?

Google Hotels works according to a bidding model, with hotels selecting their strategy and deciding how much they are willing to pay for hotel information to be displayed to users who have carried out a relevant search. One of the most popular options here is cost-per-click (CPC), where the hotel pays for each click generated by their advertisement.

The CPC model includes options for a fixed amount to be paid per click, or for a more flexible approach, where bids are automatically adjusted based on the likelihood of attracting a booking. An alternative to CPC is to pay Google on a commission basis and this can be set up so that you pay per commission per booking, or per guest stay.

Essentially, this means you will have a choice between paying out a percentage of the booking fee the customer pays, or paying a set amount of your own money each time one of your ads is clicked.

Video: How Consumers Use Google Hotels?

In this video, you will learn how consumers use Google Hotels to search and find hotels.


Video: How to Use Google Hotel Ads to Increase Direct Bookings

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How to Become a Google Hotels Partner

Hotels have two main options for becoming a Google Hotels partner: connect availability information and room rates to the service directly, or find and work with an official connectivity partner or channel manager.

The first option will require you to create and maintain an account with the Google Hotel Center. From there, you should be able to connect availability and pricing information and link your new account to your Google Ads account.

Working with a connectivity partner circumvents much of this hassle, as everything will be taken care of for you. However, the downside is that this option will cost more and it could be prohibitively expensive for smaller hotels.

Reviews on the Google Hotels Service

The Google platform allows users to leave reviews for many business types, and hotels are no different. Google Hotels will display these reviews to users, enabling them to get a sense of what customers really think about your hotel. Crucially, the platform has been configured to detect and remove reviews that appear to be spam.

Understanding Google Travel Insights

Aside from Google Hotels, there are various other Google services that can benefit those in the travel and tourism industry, and a good example of this can be seen with Google Travel Insights. This particular service provides access to key performance and industry data, with examples including demand for travel and emerging booking trends.

Google Hotels forms one part of the much larger global offering from Google, and it has become extremely well regarded within the travel and tourism sector. By fully capitalizing on what the platform has to offer, hotels have the potential to improve online visibility, attract direct bookings and grow their business.


Ramy Ayoub