This week in organic search Google announced new features to assist travelers when searching for hotels and flights. On the paid search side, Google has a new feature that allows searchers to browse store inventory without leaving the search results page. In addition, a new feature called price extensions is coming to mobile text ads.
Full details about each of these top stories are included in this week’s organic and paid search roundup.
Google Makes it Easy to Find the Best Hotels and Flights
Google has updated its algorithm to be able to handle more complex hotel searches. For example, if you’re looking for a room with a view in Las Vegas for under $200/night you should be able to type that exact query into the search bar and Google will return the appropriate options.
All hotel searches can be filtered by price and star ratings. Google will also alert you if you can save significant money by booking your trip on slightly different dates. If the hotel you want has opted in to the Book With Google program you may even be able to complete your booking without ever leaving the search results page.
Results from hotel searches will be generated completely organically. Even though a substantial number of hotel chains are Google advertising partners, that will make no difference when delivering organic results for hotel searches.
Trips tend to require transportation of some sort, and what better way to get there than air travel. A new price tracking feature will be available for Google Flights searches within the next few weeks. So if you have a dream destination in mind, you can track the flight prices and book that trip when you’re eligible to save the most money.
Both of these new features should be live now on desktop and mobile in English search results only.
Browse Local Store Inventory in Google
Google has updated its Local Inventory Ads with features that now appear in the Knowledge Panel and Google Maps. The new feature allows searchers to browse in-stock products when the name of a retail location is searched for. The new features are being rolled out on both desktop and mobile for a select number of retailers.
The first place you might see the new feature is in the Knowledge Panel, which is the panel of information on the right hand side that provides information when a location or public figure is searched for. The feature appears as a new line underneath the NAP (name, address, phone number) information which reads: “Search items at this store”.
Clicking or tapping on that option will lead you to a Google-hosted page where you can search for the exact item you need from that store. Selecting an individual product will bring you to a dedicated product page with information about the product, as well as where it is available to purchase both locally and online.
This feature is a paid service offered by Google. In order to be eligible to have customers browse your store within Google, you will have to be an advertiser with your products and inventory information added to the Local Inventory Ad program.
Price Extensions Coming to Mobile Text Ads
Google is sure trying to keep advertisers happy with a slew of new features that keep coming out to enhance search ads. With a new ad extension called ‘price extensions’, advertisers will soon be able to showcase the prices of their most popular products and services in mobile text ads.
When price extensions are enabled as part of your mobile text ads, rows of products and services with corresponding prices will appear underneath the ads. Each row will contain: the name of a type of product or service, a short description, and the price. Tapping on one of the rows will bring you to a landing page for the product or service.
Price extensions are due to roll out to all AdWords accounts in the coming days, but some already have access to it. When you get access to price extensions you’ll know because it will be added to the drop down menu of the ‘ad extensions’ tab. Advertisers can include up to eight price extensions, and must include a minimum of three. Keep in mind that only three will be shown in the ad unit. Price extensions can only be created in english and will only show for mobile text ads showing up in the first position.
Google wants to be your new destination for hotel and flight searches, now you can shop right from the Google search results page, and advertisers can showcase their prices with a new extension to mobile text ads. If you have any questions about any of this week’s headlines, please leave us a comment and we will be sure to respond.