March 12, 2018

Has Google just made the lowest hotel rates harder to find?


Google used to display the lowest hotel rates high in its rankings. That is until last week, when the company started to more frequently “burying” the lowest hotel rates from smaller advertisers in its search results, according to Skift.

More precisely, Google is now often requiring users to click a “More” button to see the lower rates in searches. That matters because conventional wisdom has it that fewer consumers will click a “More” button to see a full set of rate listings - even if there may be money to be saved.

Google appears to have changed how its advertising auctions work. Smaller online travel agencies that have the best rate now have to bid more than before to get higher visibility. The move implicitly favors global conglomerates, such as Booking Holdings, Ctrip, and Expedia Inc., that can afford to outbid others.

If the new way of doing things sticks, it would hurt consumers because they would have to work harder to find the lowest rates.

Get the full story at Skift