For those who are trying to find or promote a hotel, Google has some good news: A new feature, known as the “Google Hotel Finder,” has been released as a public experiment. This hotel finder lets users track down the right hotel by its location, value, and user feedback.
Where the Hotel Finder Shines
The Google Hotel Finder comes with plenty of attractive features, but there are a few key points that make it stand out from the crowd. First, the tool is designed to make comparison easy, allowing users to compare the value of each hotel to historic price averages, view images and review data at a glance, and add any hotels that catch their eye to a saved shortlist.
The most impressive feature, though, comes in the form of a heatmap that outlines the most popular tourist attractions. Here’s a sample:
You can also set the heatmap according to the specific places you want to stay or where you want to visit. The result is a map that gives you a highly location-targeted layout of maps, and quickly optimizes for precise locations.
The Travel Search War
When competitor Bing entered the market, they did so with a lot of skepticism and a lot of financial loss. All their effort wasn’t in vain, though; the Bing-Yahoo partnership now holds over 30 percent of the market. But Bing wasn’t just looking to out-Google Google. Rather, Microsoft’s search engine focused in on a more precise set of features, including entertainment, shopping, and travel tools.
Google hasn’t focused much on travel search until this year, but the ITA flight data deal and features like this experimental hotel finder make it clear that Google isn’t going to forfeit the territory without a fight.
[Sources include: the Inside Search blog]