Google recently announced that they are releasing a new interface and set of features that will improve online hotel reviews and searches. Hotel reviews are an important way that hoteliers connect with consumers to measure their performance and a traveler’s experience after a stay. It’s also a standard way that people find hotels while traveling or making travel plans.
In a recent statement to Search Engine Land, the search engine giant confirmed that their new features are aimed at improving people’s search experience and accessibility of reviews. The more accurate and timely information that Google can provide to people considering a stay at a particular hotel, the better decisions they can make based on their needs. Like the hospitality industry, convenience and accessibility are major factors.
Given the potential impact that these new review features and interface can have on a hotelier’s business, here are some of the core items you should be aware of:
- Some hotel listings will now display third-party reviews in a carousel format. This change is intended to make it easier for consumers to scan all online reviews for a specific hotel in one place regardless of the provider. Thus, as a hotelier, be mindful of other review websites like Expedia or Hotels.com that may start feeding data into your Google reviews.
- The new interface will be more visually oriented featuring graphics, icons and bolder colors that are tied to specific hotel attributes. This segmentation of areas that travelers typically assess during their hotel stays allows for more detailed, accurate reviews. Hoteliers should be aware of these attributes and focus on improving their customers’ experiences in these connected areas.
- Following the shift to a more graphical interface, the detailed section for reviews will also enhance a traveler’s ability to offer and view feedback based upon their type of travel. This customized user experience is becoming an expectation for online users and travelers alike.
Below are some recent Google screenshots that contain the new hotel review features mentioned above.