NewsNovember 4, 2018

Google’s New Hotel Search Is a Greater Threat to Booking Rivals

Booking hotels worldwide on Google just became more prominent on its U.S. site in a redesign of Google hotels on the desktop that the company announced Wednesday in a blog post. According to Revenue Hub, Google plans to roll out the redesign, which was introduced on mobile earlier this year.

In the past couple of years, Google has experimented with taking hotel bookings on behalf of an online travel agency or hotel partners, but you would have to search for hours to find such an instance. Otherwise, you would more commonly click over to a partner site to complete a booking. The feature was introduced in 2015.

But in a redesign of the entire Google hotel search — and booking — experience there are multiple displays in the course of browsing for hotels where you can find the Google booking feature.

In fact, if you book a hotel on Google, you can now even contact Google via an online form if you have a problem. You can see the details of how Google says booking hotels on its sites works in a PDF we posted below.

When you search Google for Rio de Janeiro hotels and click on Days Inn Rio de Janeiro, you can select your dates and click over to an online travel agency site to book a room, but there is also an advertisement from Booking Holdings company Agoda, with photos and rates for a superior twin room, superior double room, and a queen bed nonsmoking room. The phrases Reserve Now and Free Cancellation are highlighted.

For hotels in other destinations, such as the New York Marriott Downtown, the Google booking ad comes from multiple partners, such as Agoda and Expedia’s Travelocity. We also saw such Google booking ads from Expedia’s Orbitz.