Google has announced a landmark change to their search results for the travel vertical: Destinations On Google.
This new feature is a change to the search results for area names allows for a traveler to search for places and get rich information. When a query like `Europe destinations` is entered in Google on mobile, rich cards and interactive elements come up. Here’s what Google has to say in their press release:
Meet Destinations on Google. It’s designed to help you discover and plan your perfect vacation on the go by doing the heavy lifting for you. Simply search with Google on your mobile for a state, country, or continent you’d like to travel to and add the word “vacation” or “destination” to get the stuff you need at your fingertips.
Information that’s available in the search results are some of the following:
- City names and descriptions
- Common travel dates
- Average price of flights
- Average prices on hotels
Additionally, you can filter based on criteria like
- Your travel dates
- Price or budget
Other travel information is added once you’ve filtered and added criteria. Google Destinations creates a travel itinerary that shows off graphically where you can go and what things you can do. It’s all very slick and well-done, but raises some concerns for the travel websites I work with as well as large informational websites too.
What Google Destinations Means For Accommodations Companies
If you fall into the nearly formatted structured data that Google can crawl and index, you may see a benefit from this new format. However, many of the clients I work with in the vacation rental and hotel vertical may not see the benefit from this new format. Pricing information on accommodations seems to be based on hotels that use Google Hotel Ads program, which may not be very accurate for vacation rentals.
Based on my searches, the hotels showing in mobile search results do not appear to have advertising on them at the moment. Google organic searches show similar rankings compared to Google hotels search on Destinations. For the moment, it doesn’t appear to be pay-to-play to generate web traffic from this new information portal.
Keep a close eye on these updates — Google is spending more of their engineering talent on travel and they see it as a huge growth industry. Have you seen this update to your area results?