Google Testing Vacation Rentals Accommodation Type

Google Testing Vacation Rentals Accommodation Type

We’ve seen vacation rentals make it into Google Hotel Ads’ search results before, but we’re now seeing a filter on some searches that allows a user to proactively filter down to *only* vacation rentals. Though this represents just a slight shift in functionality, it could nonetheless signal a change in the composition of search results in the future.

Right now we’re seeing this experience show up across multiple points of sale, though it only appears to be triggered for certain cities. For example, a search for “hotels in san francisco” hasn’t triggered the option for us, though searches “hotels in paris” and “hotels in berlin” have.

After selecting the “Accommodation type” filter, the property list is reduced to vacation rentals. It appears that this filter follows Google’s business classification of the property. The date selection, guest count, user rating, and hotel class (somewhat surprisingly) filters remain in the experience, indicating that this is an extension of existing hotel search functionality instead of something purpose built for vacation rentals.

It also appears that the primary advertisers showing in this experience are legacy Hotel Ads participants and the content is an extension of their existing inventory. Notable vacation rental providers like Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway are currently missing, though one has to wonder if they will be for long. From the perspective of user value, however, the present results aren’t great; there isn’t much inventory or review content yet available.

It also looks like Google has limited testing to certain markets. Currently, searches for “vacation rentals in paris” do not trigger this experience. Instead, they trigger a legacy business-search experience where the results are not filterable by date and don’t display prices.

It’s not surprising to see this kind of functionality being tested on Google considering the surging popularity of the “rental economy” and these types of accommodations. We expect Google to continue refining this experience and the content that is driving it; better classification, more content, more reviews, and more advertisers will be required to make it truly viable.

We’re clearly in the early days – but this will be a space to watch!

Google , Metasearch