Google is making its own Google Hotel Finder, its hotel price-comparison product, increasingly irrelevant with the tweaks it is making to its boxed three-pack of organic search results.
As a Koddi blog post points out, Google just added filters — price, rating, hotel class and more — right within its 3-pack style listings so there is no need for the consumer to navigate elsewhere to fine-tune their hotel searches.
Interestingly, the only choice within the “more” filter is to view hotels that have been rated by Google-owned Zagat.
If users wanted to filter the hotel search results via TripAdvisor, for example, they wouldn’t be able to do it through the Google filter within the 3-pack box that takes up prime real estate on the search results pages. We should point out, though, that it is unclear whether TripAdvisor would want to be there at all.
“Once a user selects a filter they are redirected to the local universal listings page,” Koddi states “Users can then continue to narrow their search with the same filters, now available at the top of the listings page.”
“After a user is finished filtering and clicks on the hotel they wish to book they are redirected to the hotel details page, where all of the offers from advertisers will be listed,” Koddi adds.
The impact of Google’s 3-pack format is that it drives traffic to third-party sites through organic search but also to Google’s hotel ads from online travel agencies and hotels. Google likely is taking market share from metasearch players with the streamlined navigation from its search results pages to its hotel ads.
With Google’s 3-pack listings serving more these days as a quasi-metasearch site with pricing from Google’s hotel advertisers, it isn’t unreasonable to think that Google Hotel Finder as a separate site may eventually fade away.
These tweaks of adding filters, including Zagat-rated hotels, could be a Google experiment and they come as the European Commission has filed charges against Google for allegedly anticompetitive behavior.