Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has made hotel and travel listings free, making a similar move last year with Google flights and shopping destinations. The company made it free for e-commerce retailers to sell and made it free to participate in Google flight.
Google makes hotel and travel listings free
Following its early moves, the company has announced that hotel booking links on the Google.com/travel vertical will be free. Users can now access a range of hotel prices with a better set of alternatives as they search for their trip and select where to go. The move will give users a comprehensive look into the availability of hotel rooms to plan their trips. Google’s move is seen as a way of positioning to meet customer needs ahead of the return to international travel was the pandemic eases.
According to the company’s blog post, the last 12 months have been challenging for the travel industry and travelers, and now the company is preparing for the road ahead. The post indicated that people are eager to travel with travel companies wondering how best they can meet customer demand after the pandemic eases. Most importantly, the post indicated that there urgent need to have transparent information once travel resumes. Google indicated that hotel bookings are popular with partners viewing them to attract customers, and for customers, they are informative.
Google moving from paid ad listings to compete with Amazon
Richard Holden, Google’s VP of Product Management Travel efforts, said that it is important for people to get the information they are looking for and connect with travel companies when travel recommences in earnest.
Notably, the adoption of the free hotel and travel listing is part of Google’s efforts to shift most of its destinations that were in the past powered by paid ads into free listings. Interestingly, on the e-commerce front, this will strategically counteract the growing threat from Amazon, which has considerably grown its ad business in recent years. Most users nowadays prefer going to Amazon to search for products overlooking Google altogether, worrying for its core ad business.