Google is stepping up its vacation rental business with enhanced listings that will include reviews, photos and more, and appearing before competitors on search, Skift reported on Saturday (Oct. 5).
Nicola Simionato, director of business development for Travel at Google, revealed the new enterprise at the Vacation Rental World Summit in Lake Como, Italy.
Search results for vacation rentals previously were part of Google Hotels or Google Trips. On the new user interface, keywords typed into search will show results from various vendors — Vrbo, Agoda, Red Awning, Hotels.com — but not from Airbnb.
“Google executives have said at Skift forums that they want to nail the user experience before further monetizing its vacation rental and apartments business,” the article said.
Andrew McConnell, CEO of the vacation rental management firm Rented, tweeted about the Google presentation at the summit. He said that companies in Google’s new vacation rental search will see a boost in traffic.
In March, Google first added an option to search for vacation rentals in its Hotel Search user interface. It also reconfigured and updated the UI so it is more intuitive and easier to use.
Google users who search for hotels will now have the option of filtering short-term rentals, a feature that is available on mobile and expected to arrive on desktops next month.
A few providers participated in the venture from the start, including TripAdvisor, Vrbo, Hotels.com and Expedia. The partners are responsible for sending confirmations to users, and the hotel itself receives the reservation and payment specifics.
Users can search for flights, vacation rentals and hotels side by side, which means the company listings will be in direct competition. Some instances will allow users to book their hotels directly through Google and pay using Google Pay.