What’s New in Metasearch: Q1 2020

We’re launching a new blog series featuring a quarterly roundup of the biggest changes and news from metasearch travel publishers. To make sure that you are getting the most out of your marketing efforts, take advantage of these tips and updates to build healthy, effective campaigns.

Q1 2020 will largely be remembered for the impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry. From a metasearch publisher perspective, it will also be remembered for the introduction and expansion of paid placement products.


Google has increased the value of its top position in property-level results by including an option to show room photos alongside room rates. This can be a particularly attractive option for suppliers with properties that have several different room types, such as resorts and all-inclusives.

In 2019, the big news out of Google was the migration from Google Hotel Ads Center to Google Ads. While the Hotel Ads Center hasn’t been completely shut off, some features have been retired starting in 2020. To access the full suite of features, make sure that you are now using Google Ads.


No, that is not a typo. Tripadvisor, formerly TripAdvisor, has dropped the capital A and opted for a new monochrome styling for its iconic logo, Ollie the Owl. According to Design Week, these changes are the first few of a wider brand refresh that is expected to roll out throughout 2020.

Tripadvisor has also introduced new updates to its Sponsored Placements product offering, which gives properties an opportunity to increase visibility within destination search results. The most notable update was the addition of bid levers which add more granularity to bidding decisions.


In February, trivago updated its user experience for hotel metasearch results. Within the property results, what used to display up to four participants was reconfigured to only display two results – the auction winner (“Recommended deal”) as well as the lowest price (“Our lowest price”). However, that configuration was short-lived as trivago has since updated the UX to include an additional spot for the auction’s second-place bid.

We recommend that marketers keep a close eye on the auction results UX for future changes. Given the changing structure, there could be fluctuations in the effectiveness at different average ranks within the auction.

Former UX:

First Update:

Second Update:

trivago has also started testing a Sponsored Listings product. Currently in alpha, the top-position paid placement within destination search results is, for the time being, only available to Koddi customers. It is expected to fully release in Q2 of 2020. Be sure to contact us if you would like to be considered for early product releases.


In keeping with the trend of sponsored listing products, KAYAK has expanded its offering to include a new Koddi-driven sponsored listings product, which works similarly to its existing Hotel-Specific Inline product. KAYAK Sponsored Listings differ from other publishers in that the ad placement will display as dynamically-sorted within the search results, rather than always occupying the top spot. At the time of this article’s publishing, this feature is available in beta form to Koddi customers, with a full release expected in Q2. If you’re interested in being considered for early product releases, reach out to our team.

Other Publishers

  • Microsoft Advertising, formerly known as Bing Hotel Ads, remains an attractive option for marketers seeking new meta publishers. While overall customer traffic is not currently at the same level as Google, the lack of competition and lower CPCs can result in significant returns for those willing to participate.
  • Metasearch pioneer, Hipmunk, has closed shop as of January 23rd after a nearly ten-year run. Skift covered the closure of the company and its impact on the travel industry.

Even though these are uncertain times, being armed with the right information can help advertisers stay ahead of the curve. To get the latest insights from our team (including our Q2 metasearch updates), subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

Google , Metasearch