A “small portion” of Google Maps users may see the latest experiment on Google Maps: the addition of hotel prices as part of the business listing information. You’ll know that you’re one of those users if you see an interface like this next time you search for hotels on Google Maps:
The pricing information comes from a “limited number of advertisers” that have agreed to give Google their pricing information — judging from the image, this appears to include travel portals such as Expedia, Priceline, and the like. It’s unclear if any hotels are participating directly.
In today’s announcement, Google emphasizes that this has no impact on how hotels are ranked in Maps.
Google Maps ranks business listings based on their relevance to the search terms entered, along with geographic distance (where indicated) and other factors, regardless of whether there is an associated price.
Google says it’ll evaluate the data and feedback from this experiment before deciding to roll it out to more users with pricing from more advertising partners.