March 28, 2017
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As Tnooz reports, starting this week, Google has integrated its Hotel Finder product just above organic results on search results pages. For the moment, the integration is only visible for U.S. customers.
With the change, Google Hotel Finder, with its “book hotels” button and ability to search for two-, three-, four- and five-star hotels with pricing, appears in a white box above organic results and is labeled “Sponsored.”
The “Sponsored” designation means participating hotels or online travel agencies, which get booking links, may — or may not be — be paying for the ad.
Despite the “Sponsored” label, the new positioning of Google Hotel Finder leaves Google open to the charge that Google is favoring its own products above competitors’ solutions.
And, it goes without saying, regulators on several continents looking into Google’s search practices will take note of the change.
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