Google dominates online search, controlling almost 90 percent of search engine market share. It’s where travel shoppers go first when they need to book a hotel. In the past, travel shoppers navigated from Google’s search results page to the booking channel of their choice to complete a reservation. That’s about to change with Book on Google.
Google has been making waves in the travel industry since the launch of their travel meta-search engine, Google Hotel Finder in 2011. They have been tirelessly working to expand their reach in the hotel industry, in order to keep travel shoppers in the Google ecosystem throughout the entire booking process. After a long testing period, including a soft launch in the US, Book on Google is now available worldwide.
We’ve compiled all the information you need to know about how Book on Google will impact hotel chains, and how Leonardo can help you take advantage of this new reservation tool.
What is Book on Google?
Book on Google is a new reservation tool that Google claims will help improve the booking process for travel shoppers. It allows travelers to search, compare, and complete a reservation without leaving the Google ecosystem or navigating to another website. Travelers simply select the hotel and the channel they want to make the reservation through, enter payment details and Google will complete the booking in the backend.
Does this make Google an OTA now?
Not in the way most people think of an OTA. Here’s why.
Google will not take a commission from hotels when bookings are completed on Google. When a hotel is booked on Google, the reservation and payment details are securely passed to the hotel or online travel agency that processes the booking and charges the guest’s credit card.
Does this mean Book on Google is free?
While it is free to be listed on Book on Google, the same revenue generation strategy that Google uses to monetize search results for any Google query applies to Book on Google. Hotel chains that invest in Google Ads will see their hotel listings on Book on Google outrank those that don’t.
It will be up to hotel chains to decide if paying for increased visibility is worth the advertising costs to do so.
How does Book on Google benefit hotel chains?
Since Google simply collects the reservation and payment information and passes it along to the supplier without taking a commission, Book on Google presents a significant opportunity for hotel chains to promote their direct channels and drive more direct revenue.
How do I get my hotels’ images on Book on Google?
Being in the travel industry for almost two decades, we know that the quality and quantity of hotel photos on a hotel listing has a significant impact on a traveler’s likeliness to book.
If you’re a Leonardo hotel chain customer, you’re in good hands. Google is a longtime partner and member of our network. We were already feeding hotels images to the search engine long before this new initiative. When we heard the news about the roll-out of Book on Google, we got to work to enhance our Google image feed to deliver hotel images for specific room types to Book on Google.
Once our enhanced feed is live, hotel chains that subscribe to our VScape solution will be able to better showcase their individual rooms with room type images and have a greater influence on direct revenue from Book on Google.
The enhancement of our Google image feed is one of the many product enhancements we’re working on right now. Find out what else we’re releasing in the coming months.