In a shift from its earlier years in hotel metasearch, Google is experimenting with a commission-based model that’s like what OTAs use, rather than cost-per-click.
Google has been partnering with Seekda, a hotel technology company based in Vienna, Austria, DerbySoft, Accor Hotel-owned Fastbooking, Sabre Hospitality Solutions, TravelClick, and Trust International to implement the new technology without any additional technical work on the hoteliers’ parts.
Google will be making it more common for hotels to let users book hotels directly from within the Google interface.
While Google has been doing this on mobile devices for select properties since 2013, now it's making the functionality possible across desktop and tablet devices and to simplify the process in a way to prompt more hotels to join.
Just as with TripAdvisor’s instant book feature, Google sends the confirmation email to the hotel. This differs from standard practice with most OTAs, who fight to “own” the customer.
What’s aggressive is that in the side-by-side comparison, is that booking direct with the hotel looks much more appealing.
Hilton Garden Inn Gainesville, for example, includes a clear call-to-action to the user that booking direct includes free wifi, while booking via Orbitz, the online travel agency competitor in this case, doesn’t.
Having all these results available directly on the SERP makes Hotel Finder unnecessary.
Not surprisingly, Google has officially shut it down its metasearch.
A look today at google.com/hotels had this message: