Google Adwords vs. Promoted Hotels (Google Hotel Finder Ads) (Part V)
Google is really edging out hotel direct bookings these days between Adwords and Promoted Hotels, which is really just Google Hotel Finder ads. It looks like this on a SERP:
Adwords in the shaded area, Promoted Hotels in the “Sponsored” listing area just below. OTAs and hotels go to head to head bidding on this space. Click on one of these Promoted Hotels, and you’re driven into Google Hotel Finder. Not surprisingly, OTAs mostly come out ahead in the bidding. But what does it mean win the bid in Promoted Hotels? Simply that when the user clicks into Google Hotel Finder, whoever paid the most gets highlighted.
In the example below, Hotels.com paid for the term to have the honor of the little red booking box. And how can the hotel get a booking directly (unless of course it outbids the OTAs)? Good luck… access to the hotel site is buried deep in that “More” button after a string of OTAs.
I’m no paid search expert, but it seems to me Google has upped the ante with Google Hotel Finder and in the process given itself—and the OTAs—a big advantage. Even if you’re not paying for placement, it pays to manage everything you can around this—your Google+ Local listings, images, details and amenities, and, of course, your reputation.