Google is tinkering with the way that hotels are laid out on mobile, making the mobile experience much more streamlined for Hotel Finder advertisers.
As noted on the travel search blog at Koddi, some are seeing a hybrid model that brings users the ability to book hotels via partners directly within the interface.
Here's what Koddi is seeing when searching for "hotels in [city]":
This compares to what Tnooz experiences for the same search via Google.com on a mobile browser:
One of the core differences between the two experiences is the more integrated visibility of filters in the second search, which allows the user to sort results by Price, Class, Location and other related filters familiar to the desktop interface.
Google reviews are featured prominently in both results, demonstrating the company's continued push towards making Google+ a must in a travel marketer's priority list.
Another interesting feature of this experiment with mobile hotel search is the in-stream integration of Google Maps that shows a 360 degree view outside of the property. This functionality works well, without any load time, and makes for a quick visual which is incredibly useful when trying to get a handle on the exterior atmosphere and actual location of a particular hotel.
As more users migrate to mobile - and become comfortable with using mobile payment services like Google Wallet - this interface will prove especially vital for hotels looking to compete for mobile bookings via search. Google Wallet acceptance is showcased in the individual hotel page, with a "Book a Room" box featuring a large red button for the winning advertiser and a twirl-down button showcasing additional paths to purchase - including those marked with a small "Buy with Google" icon.
Notice that there's actually only one organic result in the second image above, thus making pay-to-play one of the only ways to ensure placement in Google search on mobile.
Overall, an interesting development as Google continues to experiment with their travel booking suite with both users and advertisers in mind.
NB: Accommodation search image courtesy Shutterstock.