This is the third of a 4-part post about Google’s latest travel industry updates. Read part one ‘Will your Hotel Thrive or Dive under the new Google changes?” and part two “Who does Google love more – Hotels or Online Travel Booking Agents?”
Where does Google get it’s Hotel Finder ranking data from?
Google makes use of a number of different sources to determine who should rank highest for a hotel search. One of the most prominent sources of this data comes from local business listings (i.e. by listing your hotel in Google Places). Google uses information from the Google Places listing in order to create a description of the hotel in Hotel Finder, however it uses other data sources (such as images on your own website and other sources) to display in the results.
Are user reviews important to ranking on Google’s Hotel Finder?
Reviews are important. One of the major ranking factors on Hotel Finder is the ratings that Google has gathered both from the hotel directly as well as user reviews posted across the web. By offering customers exceptional service, hotels stand a chance of increasing the number of reviews on Google Places.
Do Online Travel Agents and Booking sites play a role in a Hotel’s ranking on Hotel Finder?
Whilst Google still seems to be ranking these travel sites higher than the hotels themselves in many instances it would make sense for hotels to partner with these sites now whilst Google is still in the process of gathering data.
The ratings received on these sites today could have a huge impact on the future survival of your hotel on Google in the future.