Google’s Hotel Pricing Experiment

Google announced yesterday that it was trying something (not visible to all), including prices on Maps for hotels:

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 advertiser’s site. By showing you this relevant hotel rate information directly in the Google Maps results panel we hope to make this aspect of your trip planning more speedy and efficient – so you can get where you’re going and enjoy your travel destination!

Here’s the provided example for “Hotels, New York”:

While there have been rumors of “Google Travel” for literally years, I’m wondering what broader idea might be under investigation here. Yet pricing data have long been available in SERPs for products, so there’s nothing especially novel about price information in general:

However pricing data about hotels does make Google Maps much more useful as a travel planning tool, potentially minimizing the need to check several sites to get the information.

2 Responses to “Google’s Hotel Pricing Experiment”

  1. Malcolm Lewis Says:

    Interesting that while they’re adding data for hotels, they seem to be removing data for local businesses in general. Search results for “sushi seattle, wa” used to include an “Average User Rating” filter. I’m pretty sure they had it for all biz categories inc. restaurants and hotels. Is it just me, or have those filters disappeared recently?

  2. Tuong Phan Says:

    This would be helpful to searchers finding prices but to exclude some info from it would defeat the purpose of making life easier for people.

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