Google is making its Hotel Booking Links program available to all hotels and travel companies for free, as the company announced this week.
What Are Free Hotel Booking Links?
The new program, which was previously only available through the Hotel Ads system, essentially creates an entirely new organic list of hotels and travel agencies with available bookings below the existing paid results in relevant searches.
As the company said in the announcement:
“We’re improving this experience by making it free for hotels and travel companies around the world to appear in hotel booking links, beginning this week on google.com/travel. With full access to a wider range of hotel prices, users will have a more comprehensive set of options as they research their trip and ultimately decide where to book.”
Additionally, the search engine says it will continue to expand the free marketing opportunities within the Google Travel platform in the future:
“Over time, we’ll continue building this open platform, so that all partners will have even more opportunities to highlight their information and help people book a flight, find a place to stay, or explore a new destination.”
What’s The Difference Between Free And Paid Hotel Booking Links?
The main distinction between the new program and the paid Hotel Booking Links program is obviously that paid links are essentially ads. They are bought through the Google Ads system.
However, this clear difference also influences how Google selects which hotels appear in the listings.
Paid Hotel Booking Links are ranked based on the traditional Google Ads ranking system, which considers several details including how much the advertiser is paying, how relevant the ad is, and the quality of the page you are sending users to.
The new free booking links, however, will be ranked using a system more similar to Google’s search algorithm.
As the announcement explains:
“Hotel ads are paid links, ranked according to Google’s ad auction, whereas free booking links are unpaid links, ranked according to their utility to users”
Where To Sign Up
If you’d like your hotel or travel company to appear in these new listings, all you have to do is click here to sign up.