The travel and hospitality industry remains one of the most profitable “per action” on the web. After all, not only do these companies have a lot to gain – in both immediate profit and long-term relationships – but not filling a hotel or plane does nothing to decrease your company’s overhead. Hotel chains can certainly take advantage of all your standard advertisement platforms, but one of Google’s recently graduated experiments allows a more specialized form of advertising.
Dubbed “hotel ads” by the media (with no official title being given from Google), this new advertisement mechanism adds a new line to the Google Maps listing for any hotels: a price per night. When users click on this provided price, they will then be shown any competing rates from CPC advertisers. Clicking on these rates will then, of course, take users to the appropriate website (Hotels.com, Travelocity, Expedia, etc.) to find details and make a reservation.
Users can see this new ad structure when searching for hotels via Google Maps and when browsing through hotels that are listed in Google Places.
A Google representative contacted us to clarify that the feature has been available in an experimental mode for quite some time. Additionally, the feature “remains a test with a limited number of partners” – though it does seem that the project’s scope and visibility is expanding. Google representatives have also repeatedly stated that participating in the advertising program will “not change the organic ranking of the affiliated properties, be it in Maps or elsewhere.”
[via Search Engine Land]