Google Introduces Free Cancellation Filter for Hotel Search

Traveling during COVID-19 can be a difficult task to navigate. Between mandatory quarantines, shifting government positions on travel, and concerns for personal safety, it can induce stress not knowing whether or not you will be able to actually realize your vacation and make it to the hotel. Google has now introduced a “Free Cancellation” filter on its Google Hotel Ads product. This filter will remove any hotel in the search area that does not offer free cancellations and will remove any advertiser who does not have cancellable rates.

What Is the Free Cancellation Filter?

When a user searches for a hotel on Google’s Hotel Search, a new ‘Free cancellation’ button appears in the filtering system. Historically, users have been able to filter results based on star rating, price, amenities, and brand; now users are able to filter these results based on whether or not they can cancel their booking for free.

Free Cancellation as a Hotel Filter

Additionally, once a user has selected an individual hotel they can filter by cancellable rates only. If the user has made it to the hotel page from a view where “Free Cancellation” was active, this filter will remain. If the user did not have that setting checked, they are able to update it and the advertiser list will shift.

Free Cancellation as an Advertiser Filter 

How to Ensure Your Ad Still Serves

Google grabs the data for whether or not the rate is cancellable in the transaction messages of your rates and availability feed (the rates need to be marked as refundable). More details on how to set this up can be found here. The refundable element needs to dictate whether or not the rate is refundable (binary value) and how many days the rate is refundable. If you’re offering free cancellations, it’s crucial to test and make sure that all elements are working properly so that you don’t remove yourself from travelers’ search results.

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Google , Metasearch