Google increases visibility for vacation rentals on website

Worldwide: Google is stepping up efforts to drive its alternative accommodation divisions by combining rates, photos, reviews and a map within Google search results.

To further highlight its growing vacation rentals and apartments business, the company is also placing these features above other travel firms’ organic results, suggesting that Google is prioritising growth in a trending space.

Beforehand, listings were displayed in Google’s hotel search or in recently-launched one-stop shopping platform Google Trips. However, all searches for vacation rentals now trigger four results in a box from vendors or channel managers when the user types in a keyword, such as a location.

Searches for vacation rentals still differ from those for hotels in some instances however.

When the user clicks on a vacation rental that is displayed and accesses the follow-up page on Google Trips, users see listings from a sole company rather than being faced with listings from several companies on an auction-style page.

At the weekend, director of business development for travel, Nicola Simionato, launched the firm’s vacation rental program at the Vacation Rental World Summit in Lake Como, Italy.

The current Trips homepage includes specific buttons for hotels, flights, explore and packages, whereas vacation rental search results only become visible to users if they start off at Trips, rather than navigating through the hotels tab to Google search results.

The company is yet to say how many markets worldwide its vacation rental and apartments initiative has been launched in although Skift reported the figure currently stands at between eight to ten markets.