Google reducing the space allocated to natural search results.

August 8, 2013

TambourineNo, that’s not a typo. 

Google has slowly been reducing the amount of space it gives to natural search results in favor of products that require an investment of time or money to utilize.

Search for a hotel in NYC now and the initial results page is dominated by Google PPC, Google Carousel (Places), Google Maps and Zagat (owned by Google) results.

It’s even worse on a mobile phone… where no natural results come up on the initial screen.

Why are so many hotels spending so much time chasing page one rankings if Google keeps reducing the space allocated to those rankings?

And more importantly, what should smart hotels be doing to ensure they’re getting maximum traffic flow from the unavoidable, but ever-changing Google highway?

Here’s our recommendations:

  1. Get good at PPC: Google’s flagship paid product is expensive, but can still deliver spectacular ROI if piloted correctly.
  2. Optimize your Google Places account: make sure its accurate and current. (Be sure to encourage Google+ reviews on your website as well as TripAdvisor)
  3. Feed direct prices on Google Hotel Finder: OTAs are using your hotel’s name to drive bookings via Google’s new Hotel Finder. You can feed prices directly via partnerships with agencies like ours or others.

Striving for organic results can still yield lucrative traffic on longer-tail keywords, but smart hotel marketers need to be aware that more pragmatic methods are also now required to stay current with the reality of Google’s landscape and maintain a competitive edge.

About Tambourine

Tambourine drives revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide using advanced marketing technology. The firm is celebrating its 30-year anniversary. For more information, visit