First Look: Hotel Price Ads In Google.com Search Results

For more than a year, Google has been testing a program called Hotel Price Ads that shows ads for hotel searches inside of Google Maps.

It looks like those ads are headed to Google’s main search results soon. A Search Engine Land reader has tipped us to three new types of hotel price ads, all of which are showing up outside of Google Maps on local searches done on Google.com.

Hotel Price Ads: Three New Google.com Formats

Here’s a screenshot showing the hotel price ads on a local 7-pack for the query “hotels orlando”:

hotel-price-ads-1

In this example, five of the seven hotel listings have the hotel price ads attached. Just like the test inside Google Maps, clicking the price shows a dropdown with prices from advertisers that are participating in the program by giving Google their pricing information.

Two other examples in Google.com search results: first, hotel price ads in the Google Places results, and then a screenshot of the ads on a local inbox result for a single hotel.

hotel-price-ads-2

hotel-price-ads-3

Our source, a Google advertiser, tells us that a Google rep says all three of these ad types will be launching simultaneously, but we don’t know how soon. If we get additional information directly from Google, we’ll update this article.

Google has emphasized since day one that the hotel price ads have no bearing on how hotels are ranked in Google Maps. We assume that’ll remain the case when the ads start showing up in Google.com local search results.

Postscript:

A Google spokesperson confirms for us that this is an experiment. “We don’t have any further to add at this time about future plans, but do want to reiterate that these ads for hotel prices do not change the organic ranking of the affiliated properties, be it in Maps or elsewhere.”

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Features: General | Google: AdWords | Google: Maps & Local | Google: Web Search | Top News

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About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • http://hybridcities.blogspot.com/ Titus

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  • http://matthewpack.com Matthew Pack

    its a little scary to see the big boys only occupy those pricing lists

    surely these are partnerships and should be scrutinised by the competition commission

    what will happen to the niche players like us 3.5m reservations for airport hotels and parking in the UK but we don’t feature, are we not big enough!

  • http://www.etourism.com.au Bryan Marsh

    I agree Matthew.

    The title of the drop down indicates they are ads… I assume paid advertisements. How are these companies paying for these advertisements?

    Google must be reading some type of feed… I doubt they are scraping the sites for those rates.

  • http://seopros.us Shawn M Hickman

    The OTA’s are dominating all of search lately when it comes to hotel marketing. You better have your rate parity in line or your customers are going to easily find out what they could have paid with pricing being pulled from all over the place.

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