When Google had purchased ITA, everyone anticipated Google to overtake Yahoo Travels and become of the leading destinations of travel information. But nothing much happened, but now it looks like Google would be planning for a strong footmark in the web travel world. Itâ€™s most recent experimental tool, the Google Hotel Finder, maybe a beginning of the search giant into this industry.
So what is Google Hotel Finder?
Unlike its earlier unnecessary projects, this time Google has decided to come up with only the serious projects. First it was the recent launch of Google Plus and now Hotel Finder. So as you can expect, Hotel Finder is loaded with some serious features which sure can give a sore eye to its competitors.
To begin with, Google has made easy search of hotels, all you need to do is add the location name and zip code and it will give you the most relevant listings. Each hotel page is a combination of important data that is easy to go through with just a glimpse. There are shortcut keys as well to flip back and forth between the hotels. The best part is, just like bookmarks, you can shortlist hotels and compare them later on.
Now whatâ€™s in there for SEO experts and online marketers? Google Hotel Finder has deep integration with Google Places. So, you donâ€™t really need to key in all the information about hotels again, all the information like images, reviews, rates, etc are imported from the Places page to the Hotel Finder. If you are promoting a hotel, then simply optimize for Google Places and you in turn would also be optimizing for Hotel Finder.
One another interesting feature is the visual map. Below is a screenshot of a map:
The areas with white highlights are popular tourist attractions and blue lines around them are generated automatically by Google. So, based on how convenient it is to go to these attractions, Google Hotel Finder pulls out the hotels.
The blue lines can be extended to cover any attractions you wish to receive. So, if you want to or donâ€™t want to visit any attraction, simply drag the blue lines and get the hotels accordingly.
Right now, as expected with all Google products, it is only available for USA, but it would be nice to have it in other countries as well.
I feel Google has got itself a winner this time in the travel search market so letâ€™s see how the success of this project shapes up.