Google announces travel product updates for vacation rentals, hotel booking extensions to begin rolling out

Some features may increase competition in travel ads, while others make ad creation and support easier for PPC marketers.

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With the unpredictability of travel last year, Google made adjustments to help both advertisers and searchers adapt. Now, travel- and tourism-related businesses are expecting a dramatic increase in search volume and bookings due to the pent-up demand for … well, just getting the heck out of our houses after a year in lockdown.

At Google Marketing Live, Google announced three new travel products and updates to help partners capture this increase in demand.

Vacation rentals now showing in Hotel results. Google searches for “beach rentals” and “staycations” grew by over 100% globally since last year. Many searchers felt that smaller vacation rentals gave them more control over their environment and safety precautions. As a result, Google will now include vacation rental listings in the Hotel results page for a given listing.

Vacation Rentals
Image: Google.

This option offers a great opportunity for vacation rental property owners but could increase competition for Hotel listings within the results page.

Extending Hotel Ads feed data to text ads with hotel booking extensions. Google recently introduced hotel booking extensions, which automatically surface Hotel Ads feed data within search text ads extensions. In order to make campaigns more relevant and helpful, information is automatically pulled from your existing feed (like landing page, hotel, price, and availability).

Hotel Booking Extensions
Image: Google.

At GML, Google announced that this program will roll out to advertisers on the allowlist and, in the coming weeks, will launch globally.

Updates to commissions (per stay) reporting, support and billing. When the pandemic interrupted travelers’ plans, Google introduced commissions (per stay) which meant advertisers didn’t pay for canceled reservations. Travel advertisers only pay per consumed stay.

Image: Google

Based on advertiser feedback, Google is offering three new features to commissions (per stay):

  • A per-booking report in Google Ads to help advertisers with reconciliation. There you’ll be able to easily indicate which travel reservations were canceled and which were not.
  • Bid adjustment support for commission (per stay) campaigns. There advertisers can adjust their commission rates by dimensions like check-in day of the week and stay date to account for room inventory.
  • Credit card billing and additional currency support. Making it easier to pay for your completed stays in a way that makes sense for your business.

Why we care. The travel industry was heavily disrupted last year by the pandemic, travel bans and lockdown orders. These Ads product announcements from Google Marketing Live anticipate the consumer and advertiser changes as more travelers will be booking flights and finding places to stay this summer. Some, like the vacation rentals in Hotels results, may mean more competition in search for some travel-related businesses. However, other announcements like extra help for commission (per stay) campaigns and extended Hotel Ads feed data will make it easier for advertisers to reach more travelers as they’re looking for places to go this year.

Check out our other Google Marketing Livestream coverage here:

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About the author

Carolyn Lyden
Carolyn Lyden served as the Director of Search Content for Search Engine Land and SMX. With expertise in SEO, content marketing, local search, and analytics, she focuses on making marketers' jobs easier with important news and educational content.

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