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Google Ads for Vacation Rentals: Google’s efforts Get more visible but are attacked by travel companies


Integration of Google Ads for vacation rentals into regular search results has increased yet again

  • Vacation rental ad results used to be buried under the “Vacation Rentals” tab within Google’s travel meta-search product: https://www.google.com/travel/.
  • Now, typing “vacation rental (+ destination)” displays a map and some ad results straight into the regular Google search results.
  • It means that, as a user conducting a search for “vacation rentals Bali” as in our illustration below, you get Google Adwords first, then Google Meta Search ads in a list and on a map, then some natural results, then Google Adwords ads again.
  • This injection of Google Ads for vacation rentals means that companies that had very strong SEO get their results pushed down below Google’s advertising products. In other words, Google is heavily promoting its new meta-search tool for vacation rentals. This one of the reasons why 34 travel competitors, including Tripadvisor, Expedia, eDreams Odigeo, Wimdu, HomeToGo ask the European Union to investigate Google’s allegedly unfair practices.

Illustration: Searching for “vacation rentals Bali” in Google

google adwords for vacation rentals
Google Ads for Vacation Rentals: Direct inclusion in regular search results

Google displays the logos of some brands that are not Officially participating in Google’s meta-search tool for vacation rentals … Why?

  • Have you noticed that a new result box was showing up above the meta-search results (the list and the map)?
  • For instance here, you get a box with TripAdvisor, Expedia, HomeAway, and Airbnb logos. Some of these companies are paid users of Google’s meta-search tool for vacation rentals. But some others are not. Conduct some tests yourself to see it, across different destinations. For the moment, it looks hard to explain why some logos appear and some not. Apparently, this is not a paid advertising campaign. So, what could it be?
  • This could play go Skift’s theory that this box is a concession made to the EU competition authorities, whereby Google shows some competing brands there. This is supposed to a beta test. 
  • Let’s say that it is great timing, just as 34 travel companies have lodged a complaint 😉


Rental Scale-Up

Thibault is the founder of Rental Scale-Up. He owns vacation rentals in St. Barths and Bali. He also leads innovative projects for companies within the vacation rental industry. Feel free to reach out to Thibaut Masson on Linkedin.

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