As of this morning we’re seeing a new experiment out in the wild bringing a more streamlined hotel search experience to Google users. Some users searching for terms like “hotels in [city]” are seeing results like the ones below. Note right under the mobile text ads:


hf-mobile-1 hf-mobile-2 hf-mobile-3
 

This new experience contains (at least) a few notable and interesting things.

Hotel Finder, or a hybrid?

While price and availability details are clearly from Hotel Finder and Hotel Price Ads, many of Hotel Finder’s core filter capabilities are absent from this search unit.

Hotels without availability or pricing information are shown in the results list. This differs from the Hotel Finder search results, where “No Availability” properties are typically not shown.

When selecting result from the new unit, the user is taken to another set of search results with the selected hotel at the top of the results. This is similar to the experience of Carousel, where a user is taken to a new set of search results with the Knowledge Graph or Local Universal results shown at the top right of the screen.

Rankings follow Carousel order

In some ranking and usage tests throughout the day, we’ve confirmed that the hotel results largely match Carousel ranking order, not the Hotel Finder ranking order. This finding certainly indicates that this is more of an organic feature than a commercial unit.

mobile-commercial-unit-2What does it mean for Hotel Price Ads?

From the perspective of the Hotel Price Ads advertiser, this experience might seem somewhat fractured in that a user gets a different hotel search flow in this experiment vs. the standard commercial unit. Perhaps it’s the other way around though. This is an experience that gets Hotel Price Ads in front of users in a more streamlined way; they are integrated directly into the search process instead of making the user go to another property. The user is more directly connected to the valuable information they are looking for.

Either way, what’s very clear is this: Google continues to iterate extremely quickly in the hotel search space on both mobile and desktop, making this an extremely important space to watch for hospitality marketers. To see a few more recent experiments, check out: See Inside Functionality in Hotel Finder, Filter by Distance, and Advertiser Logos Being Tested on Hotel Finder.

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