Google plans on developing a proprietary Google Hotel Finder, which compares hotel prices. Now, whenever you make a Google search you will find its hotel advertisements popping up on its entire organic search results pages.
According to a Koddi blog post, Google has included several filters including price and rating of hotels. It also filters results according to hotel class and more. Its powerful hotel ads pop up conveniently thereby obviating the need for consumers to look elsewhere for information on hotels.
It is also interesting to note that searchers get an additional choice within the more filters, which is that they get to see hotel ratings given by Zagat, which is Google owned company.
Such moves will surely sooner or later attract the attention of the authorities. Google has been placing other organic search results lower down on their SERPs and sometimes these other results are not even visible because Google places its own hotel advertisements in prime spaces. To compound matters consumers only have one other option and that is to view search results from Zagat, which of course is also owned by Google.
Even if you try to use sites like Trip Advisor to view hotels you are going to have to go through Google whose hotel advertisements will be taking up prime area on the SERPs. However, there is nothing to say that Trip Advisor actually does want to be there in the first place.
Another option available to consumers is to use individual Hotel Finder pages from Google. Even so, the Google powered ads will still take up more space in the hotel searches. This works well when the consumer wants to use Google to find hotels. By dwarfing the hotel search experience Google is able to dominate the market share of other metasearch players.
After choosing a filter, you will be taken to a local universal listings page. There, it is possible to narrow down the search even more by using other filters, which are available right there on the listing page. After the filtration process has been completed, the user is then taken to a page where details about the hotel are available and where other offers from advertisers are also shown.
The powerful Google ads are proving to be very like quasi-metasearch sites. Does this mean that in the future Google Hotel Finder will cease to be an individual site altogether?
By tweaking things and by adding filters such as Zagat rated hotels, this new Google experiment has attracted the attention of the European Commission, which has also already charged Google with being anti-competitive.