Travel is back on the rise and Google is adding a much easier way for hotel marketers to manage and change their rates.
Earlier this week Google announced three new features to actively open the onboarding process for hotels wanting to list their rates or provide booking links through Google.
Update 1: Industry-standard protocols
Google will support industry-standard protocols for bringing hotel rates online. These protocols are created to help different hotels remain consistent with booking, uploading new rates, and making changes.
Update 2: Say Good-bye to Spreadsheets
Hotels will no longer be required to upload complicated spreadsheets and files to add rates to their Google Business Profile. Instead, Google is simplifying this process by allowing to directly input their rates into their profiles. This change should make it easier for hotels to keep up with demand and change rates quickly, without getting technology providers or partners involved.
Update 3: While We’re Saying Good-Bye, Say Good-Bye to the NEED for Hotel Center
Soon, hotels will no longer need a Hotel Center account to run campaigns. This means that any Google advertiser can search for and run campaigns for any hotel’s website. When asked whether they would phase out Hotel Center accounts altogether, Google stated “We will not be phasing out Hotel Center accounts. Current hotel advertisers with existing Hotel Center accounts will continue to operate and serve ads as usual.”
When We Can Expect To See The Changes
Google is actively supporting industry protocols and allowing hotels to input their rates into Google My Business.
In regards to the reason for the changes, a Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land: “We’re streamlining this process to help more advertisers utilize hotel ads, and activate them more quickly. This is part of our overall efforts to help more hotel businesses get online.”
Google indicates that searches for passport appointments increased 300% over the first four months of 2022.
Earlier this week Snapchat also announced the introduction of Dynamic Ads for Travel. The new feature allows brands such as Booking.com to create catalogs and serve to audiences based on travel intent. The focus on travel-related products should give us an early indication of where the industry is headed.
Adding rates to a hotel’s Google Business Profile allows them to appear in search, maps, and YouTube. Those free booking links will also direct users to book on a hotels actual website – not a third party. Which means more revenue for the hotel and less for sites such as Booking.com or Hotels.com. Hotels are also not allowed to add multiple rates for different room types, minimum stay restrictions, or discounts for multi-night stays.
Read the complete announcement and current setup documents here.