Google is testing two new changes to their search results page which put Hotel Ads in a more prominent position over their traditional Adwords space.
The two modules Google is currently testing are:
1. The Booking Module Appearing Above Traditional Ads
Google is testing the Booking Module which appears in the paid search ad space on the left hand side.
Google Booking Module Test
Current Metasearch Results
In our searches, we are seeing the Booking Module display when you search for a hotel.
The Booking Module then displays above the traditional Google Adword slots. On some occasions, we are seeing the Booking Module also appear below Adword ads which indicates that Google is also testing the positioning of the Booking Module.
The tests seem to be looking at the behavior of travelers who are loyal to a specific brand. It would be likely that hotels will see an increase in click throughs to their websites therefore driving an increase with bookings.
If this test is rolled out permanently, it will be interesting to see the impact it would have on position based bids and whether target top position would be as important.
2. Price and Availability on Google
From the price graph, clicking on “Choose Dates” opens pricing details when the date picker is opened. Clicking on a specific day opens the price model with the matching date.
We have been told by Google the experiments are currently running on 2% of the traffic for all countries and on desktop only.
Informing the Planning and Booking Phase
It seems the tests are trying to help travelers be better informed on pricing and availability information when searching for a hotel. To make the hotel search experience more useful, Google is testing the best way to display price and availability information within the search results page.
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