Google will shut down
its “Book on Google” option for hotels as of May 25 due to low usage from both
partners and consumers.
the option in 2015 to facilitate transactions for hotels and online travel
agencies whose sites were not optimized for mobile web, which at the time was beginning
to overtake desktops for internet usage.
that offer the Book on Google link remain the merchant for the booking, but the
reservation and payment information is captured in a Google-hosted form and
then passed directly to the partner.
we first launched Book on Google for hotels, we wanted to give users an easier
way to complete their bookings, while also driving more conversions for our
partners,” says a Google spokesperson.
Subscribe to our newsletter below
over time, we’ve seen that most people prefer to book directly on partner
websites, whether through the hotel itself or with an OTA. So this May, we’ll
be shutting down the Book on Google feature for hotels as we continue investing
in broader improvements to our hotel search product.”
one year ago, in March 2021, Google
eliminated fees for hotel booking links, so hotels and online travel
agencies can appear in the price comparison tool without the need to be a paid
company says the response to that change has been positive and “users are
engaging more with the content, and all partner types - from OTAs to individual
hotels - are seeing benefits through increase traffic, when compared to the
prior ads-only experience.”
contrast, the spokesperson says Book on Google has had low usage from both
partners and consumers. When asked if interest in Book on Google has dropped
since the free booking links launched last year, Google would not comment but
says the company has shifted resources to focus on the booking link
product philosophy is centered around creating the best possible experience for
people who are exploring and researching travel. If we find that a particular
feature isn’t serving that goal, then we’ll adjust accordingly,” the spokesperson
would not share data regarding numbers of partners that began using Book on Google
when it launched in 2015 or how many are using it today, nor would it share
details on consumer usage of the links.
The company has begun informing
partners that the option will be eliminated in late May, but says it expects
minimal impact since engagement was low. Those that did use Book on Google will
see their existing campaigns convert to standard landing page links.
In September Google made an update to its search
and booking function for tours, activities and attractions with the launch
of “Things to Do.” That new offering, with both free and paid booking links
from a range of merchants, replaced “Reserve with Google,” which only had one
merchant to capture bookings for each tour or attraction.