Google likely will introduce advertising to these listings eventually, but it can afford to take its time.
The new feature enables travelers to compare prices from various vendors under the same listings rather than having to navigate to multiple websites.
The launch of the new feature is starting this week and is expected to be rolled out more broadly by the end of November. Google intends to add different markets in 2024.
Even today, a listing for a 12th floor lakeview home near Disney World in Orlando, shows only one booking option, in this case from Hostfully.
However, a listing for Wonderland House with a game room in Encore near Disney, showed booking options with nightly rates from Whimstay, Booking.com, Homes & Villas by Marriott Bonvoy, Tripadvisor and HolidayLettings.
The new way Google will show vacation rental booking options. Source: Google
Google said that travelers appreciate seeing multiple booking options and various rates. The previous setup may have caused confusion: Although each property showed one booking option, the property might appear multiple times in search results because listings were associated with different booking sites.
Unlike Google Travel’s hotel search results, Google does not show sponsored and free links for vacation rentals. Under the new vacation rental feature, Google only shows free links so it is not monetizing these listings.
“In addition to benefiting users, this price comparison feature can also drive more traffic to participating travel sites, by increasing the number of impressions properties get and letting users make booking decisions based on what’s most important to them — whether that’s brand loyalty, price, or other factors,” Google said in a blog post.
Google likely will introduce advertising to these listings eventually, but it can afford to take its time and iron out the user experience first. After all, it took four years for Google to get this far in vacation rentals.
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Photo credit: A pousada, or holiday home, in Brazil as seen in 2007. Source: Sanhueza Flickr.com https://cutt.ly/lXm3DEf