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Google Experiments With Hotel Prices On Maps
engine




msg:4103255
 6:43 pm on Mar 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google Experiments With Hotel Prices On Maps [google-latlong.blogspot.com]
Today we started experimenting with a new feature, visible to a small portion of users, to help make that process even easier by showing specific prices for selected hotel listings.

With this feature, when you search for hotels on Google Maps you'll be able to enter the dates you plan to stay and see real prices on selected listings. You can click on the price to see a list of advertisers who have provided pricing information for that hotel, indicated by the "Sponsored" text, and click through to reserve a room on the advertiserís site.



[pcmag.com...]


Google said the feature will not change how hotels are ranked in Google Maps. The company is working with a small group of advertisers on the feature at this point, and will evaluate feedback before rolling it out to a larger group.

 

LifeinAsia




msg:4103263
 7:02 pm on Mar 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google pounds another nail into the coffin of smaller online travel sites...

incrediBILL




msg:4103889
 5:30 pm on Mar 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google has already been scraping reviews of hotels, why not add prices.

Besides, you can already filter hotel listings by price in Bing!, they just don't show the price, so Google is just playing catch-up.

TBH, I'm surprised the review sites aren't having a cow about Google integrating their reviews because you don't need to go to the review sites already.

loudspeaker




msg:4103953
 6:52 pm on Mar 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

TBH, I'm surprised the review sites aren't having a cow about Google integrating their reviews because you don't need to go to the review sites already.

I was wondering about that too, but I think they're simply too scared to protest. What if Google says "OK, we won't take your reviews. By the way, your stuff is also not in our index anymore."?

artek




msg:4103954
 6:53 pm on Mar 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

I do not think the public will go to G maps to search for hotels. Everyone is looking for good deals these days and G cannot offer them. The specialized travel websites are all-in-one shopping pages plus they have long time relation with hotels and have great technology in place to offer the best hotel deals. They have also converting traffic from satisfied customers bookmarks and massive direct navigation.

On the top, they already have good maps on their websites.

The Google is just trying to be the affiliate of travel industry.

[edited by: artek at 7:00 pm (utc) on Mar 24, 2010]

londrum




msg:4103960
 6:59 pm on Mar 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

i've recently removed all the google maps from my site. i found a nice, competely free and royalty free wiki street map instead.

i know google gave us the maps for free, so we we're getting something great for nothing, and it was nice while it lasted, but the more stuff they keep adding on like this, the quicker people are going to dump them from their sites.

LifeinAsia




msg:4103970
 7:11 pm on Mar 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

My understanding is that this was just on their own maps.google.com property, not on individual publishers using Google Maps on their site.

idolw




msg:4104055
 8:44 pm on Mar 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

you won't go to maps.google.com for hotels but:
a/ what if there is a search box like with flights? try search for [berlin paris] on google.com
b/ what if pages like this: [maps.google.com...] start to show up.
c/ both above will be promoted in SERPs :)

The longer I watch Google, the more convinced I am that only way to make decent money ON the internet is going to offer OFFLINE services, i.e. service that will be hard to replace using algos.

JS_Harris




msg:4104064
 9:13 pm on Mar 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google pounds another nail into the coffin of smaller online travel sites...

Isn't that what you're supposed to do to competition? The competition could/should have done it themselves.

you can already filter hotel listings by price in Bing!

Lovely, now when Bing starts sending more than a pittance of traffic when compared to Google I'm sure I'll switch...

LifeinAsia




msg:4104080
 9:35 pm on Mar 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Isn't that what you're supposed to do to competition? The competition could/should have done it themselves.

When (well, now I guess) has Google ever been in competition with online travel sites?

cwnet




msg:4104098
 10:09 pm on Mar 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Actually, these listings are paid advertisements (as mentioned in the blog post).

Google is an advertisement company and this is simply an attempt to create a new revenue stream on one of their properties.

Nothing wrong with that as far as I am concerned.

mack




msg:4104100
 10:13 pm on Mar 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

I do not think the public will go to G maps to search for hotels.

I agree. but if people notice them when using Google maps they may be inclined to have a look when they are looking for a hotel.

Mack.

Zacharias




msg:4104162
 12:52 am on Mar 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google are an advertising company, Google want to manage the world's information. Who are they again.....

incrediBILL




msg:4104176
 2:10 am on Mar 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

I do not think the public will go to G maps to search for hotels.


You will when you're looking for a hotel within a proximity, closest to a venue.

Especially when you're traveling and use the Android phone to find the best hotel nearest your current location.

local




msg:4104185
 2:31 am on Mar 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

I do not think the public will go to G maps to search for hotels


I regularly go to maps.google.com and search for hotels. I find the hotels I like near the places I want to be, then I go elsewhere to book them. Usually directly to the hotel's site.

I'm sure the hotel itself will be an advertiser on the map, so this will save me a step or two. So looked at as a stand alone thing, this isn't a bad thing.

That said .. .as a publisher that has previously been disintermediated by Google, this is another scary example of Google on their path to being a bigger monopoly.

jamie




msg:4104296
 9:24 am on Mar 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

the day they start putting this on api implementations is the day they lose many, many sites using the api.

i suspect they get more value from the information they collect from these sites (almost all reputable travel sites that i know, both local and international) use gmaps, than the revenue they'd generate by putting their own ads on them (and risking losing these sites).

there are already excellent and very accurate free street maps available.

londrum




msg:4104317
 10:49 am on Mar 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

if i was google i would introduce a paid version, that stays ad-free. maybe a yearly licence, or something like that.

i would imagine that most sites would have to pay up because of all the programming they've put into the maps. its not like they can just whip it off and replace it with a static map. the deeper you get into customising the API, the more reliant you become on it. maybe that is what google is hoping.

Whitey




msg:4104365
 12:15 pm on Mar 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google may be OK at the meta search level , if they want to play that game , but they will not be easily able to integrate room level searches.

So some OTA's and hotel chains may still have a place.

I think Google just sees more ad revenue opportunities by bypassing the meta search engines. They can see how much revenue they can target fairly easily.

Hugene




msg:4105237
 3:32 pm on Mar 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think this is a good business move for G. They still are a 1 horse business , and they need to diversify away from ads as much as they can: e-commerce is a great option for the power/brains these guys.

idolw




msg:4106230
 4:19 am on Mar 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

they're not going to do e-commerce I guess. It will ba affiliation at most and affiliation is more ads than providing service.

Brett_Tabke




msg:4106351
 11:53 am on Mar 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

> travel sites

Not so much a hit at travel sites as a response to Microsofts awesome farecast site.

bizminder




msg:4108067
 7:16 am on Apr 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

Good that google has come up with yet another business strategy. It's another feather in its cap.

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