New Nearby Deal Placement Spotted on Google

Screen Shot 2016-09-27 at 5.38.28 PMWe’re seeing a new Deals placement for certain hotel queries on Google, now placed above the top ad slot. Clicking it brings you into the map results with the “Nearby Deal” preselected. From our observations, it appears that the Deals are nearby properties with similar ratings and amenities. The Nearby Deal refreshes after changing the Check in and Check out date.

In the example at right, the Holiday Inn Express Philadelphia NE – Langhorne is currently the top result for variations of the query “langhorne, pa hotels”, indicating that Google is using the same or similar signals to rank properties and to select which hotels to include in this experience.

Our team also noticed that the “Nearby Deal” doesn’t appear to need to be a Deal in the normal Google sense of being lower priced than normal. In the example below, the Koloa Landing Resort doesn’t appear to be at a rate any better than normal, but it is priced better than the Sheraton Kauai, is relevant as a high ranking hotel, and well rated. It is being suggested as an alternate to the Sheraton Kauai.


So far we have been unable to replicate this experience on mobile devices.

Implications for Properties and Advertisers

Since this experience is showing on hotel-focused queries, there is an important cross sell implication to consider. Google has long shown a “People also searched for…” section at the bottom of the Knowledge Panel with links to different properties, but this Nearby Deal experience encourages a direct comparison for users when they may be fairly deep in the booking process.

The experience does provide a value to users, which should help advertisers in the long run. A well informed user may convert higher since they are prequalifying further before clicking to the site. It may become more important in the future for advertisers to understand which properties are subject to these types of experiences, and which properties are recommended as Nearby Deals to maximize traffic volume.

If you liked this post, be sure to check out our other recent posts covering updates to single hotel search results and the launch of Trip Planner on desktop. It has been a very busy couple of weeks for our friends at Google, so we’ll be keeping a lookout for more interesting experiments.