What is Google’s new Hotel Search Experience
25 September 2019
Over the last few months we have seen Google make more changes to its search experience for hotels and other accommodation providers (including holiday parks). For travellers searching for their next break it means more information and functionality being made available within Google’s ecosystem when the previously would have had to visit other websites to find the information.
For holiday parks, this means new opportunities to get your holiday properties in front of potential guests and ensure they have the information they need to make a decision to stay with you and book.
That is why it is extremely important to include Google as part of your park marketing strategy and proactively request customers to leave a review on your business profile. In recent weeks Google has expanded on the single question asked when leaving a review to include further questions about
- What kind of trip was it?
- How were the rooms?
- How was the service? and ;
- How was the location?
Try a search on Google for holiday parks in your area and you may see the new features.
The search below is a clear indication of a change to the useful 3-pack set of results that we have become used to.
Once you enter a search query and start viewing a hotel / holiday park list, you will notice a few major changes. First, the list layout has changed to help users browse recommended hotels more easily, and on the right-hand side the map view has been improved, showing more locations and prices in a concise geographic context.
At the top of the page there’s a prominent filter panel allowing entry of destination dates and budget for the trip with a live hotel count as users filter down the results set by price, ratings, amenities and more.
You will notice that Google has also started to give greater prominence to the property review star results and testimonial snippets.
Individual hotel pages
Google’s redesign of the user experience provides an easy way to find lots of great information about a hotel or holiday park. Click through to a individual search result and the content and information has been ordered specifically to help make choosing a property easier and faster.
The overview pulls together highlights of the individual tab pages. And as you scroll through the tabs at the top of the page you get more information like location details, prices, user-generated photos of the property and reviews.
Google cleverly pulls in additional location information like popular sightseeing destinations, things to do and shopping details. You will also notice travel times for public transport and how far it is to walk on foot.
The About tab shows details of the property with a short editorial description and then details about amenities such as wheelchair accessible and child friendly.
The Photo page shows off pictures from the property owner and those that have been generated by other users. You can filter the photo display by these two sources but also narrow your search by amenities, rooms, food and drink and the exterior.
There are several important changes to the Google Reviews section. At the top of the page you will see a summary of the reviews and overall review score submitted by Google users.
Google now displays a summary of reviews on other trusted travel sites (in this example Pitchup and TripAdvisor) – which shows the importance that Google puts on delivering the best information experience it can for its users.
Further down the page you will then see a list of reviews from around the web (including Google) with the option of being able to filter on a particular topic of interest. So if you want to see all the reviews about the holiday park swimming pool then you can see them with a simple filter. Want to find a specific review – well, there is a search tool for that too!
Google has put a lot of thought in to the advanced filtering to ensure that users can find what they are looking for from Google and their trusted travel partners without leaving their ecosystem.