Monday, March 22, 2010
Google Maps is often one of the first stops travelers make to find and compare hotels. Today we started experimenting with a new feature, visible to a small portion of users, to help make that process even easier by showing specific prices for selected hotel listings.
With this feature, when you search for hotels on Google Maps you'll be able to enter the dates you plan to stay and see real prices on selected listings. You can click on the price to see a list of advertisers who have provided pricing information for that hotel, indicated by the "Sponsored" text, and click through to reserve a room on the advertiser’s site. By showing you this relevant hotel rate information directly in the Google Maps results panel we hope to make this aspect of your trip planning more speedy and efficient - so you can get where you're going and enjoy your travel destination!
Here's an example of the Google Maps results for someone who is searching for hotels in New York City:
This new feature will not change the way that hotels are ranked in Google Maps. Google Maps ranks business listings based on their relevance to the search terms entered, along with geographic distance (where indicated) and other factors, regardless of whether there is an associated price.
While we're experimenting with this feature, we're currently working with a limited number of advertisers and it will only be visible to a small portion of users . As always, we'll evaluate the usefulness and effectiveness of this new feature based on both data and feedback, and hope to make it available to more users and offer prices from more partners over time.