Book on Google (BoG) is now available to European users who can book hotels around the world via Google’s European points of sale such as google.de, google.fr or google.it. Google has just enabled Book on Google in twelve new markets, which, except for Canada, are all European. It is a very relevant change since Europe itself is, together with the United States, the main issuing market of European countries. Users from all these countries will, from now on, have Book on Google at their disposal to make their hotel reservations throughout a large part of Europe.
Clarify that Book on Google has always been active for hotels worldwide. What changes with this expansion is the origin of the users that can use it. Before the change, a Spanish hotel could advertise with BoG for a user located in the United States or the United Kingdom. From now on, you can also do it to access a Spanish (google.es), German (google.de) or French (google.fr) user.
So, in what markets is Book on Google available?
The new markets launched by Google are Germany, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Spain, France, Italy, Holland, Norway, Poland and Sweden, which have been added to those existing: the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. We are talking of a total of 16 that, although they may seem few, between them they represent almost 50% of the world GDP and surely more than 80% of the issuing market for Spain.
Let’s remember, what was Book on Google?
Book on Google is the interface of Google Hotel Ads, which allows customers to make their reservations without having to leave Google at any time. It tries to avoid friction and possible customer leaks that occur when changing pages to book (especially when on mobiles). These types of systems are known in the meta search industry as Facilitated Bookings. It is a substantial change in terms of the traditional metasearch model where the user is redirected to the hotels or OTA websites to finalise their reservation there.
Months ago, we published a series of posts about Book on Google with much more information:
- What it is and how the client views it
- Everything you need to know as a hotel
- Is Google becoming an OTA?
- Similarities and differences with TripAdvisor Instant Booking
And how much does it cost to “use” (rather, activate) Book on Google?
Google does not add any additional costs for the use of Book on Google and will apply the same CPC for each click or the same commission % (CPA) for each booking in Hotel Ads. Seen this way, we could say that the use of Book on Google is free, although you must have a campaign in Hotel Ads and this one will imply a cost either as CPC, CPA or GHACP (Commission Program). Your Hotel Ads partner will further explain the three models available.
Is Google increasingly becoming a global OTA?
It is the eternal debate; however, the answer is really a bit irrelevant. Book on Google shares features with sales made through OTAs and others that are directly sold.
It is a direct sale because the hotel is the “owner” of the reservation, which the hotel manages after its completion and is ultimately the “owner” of the client, with whom the hotel can try to build customer loyalty. Google does not charge any extra fees for the use of BoG either.
It is an intermediated sale in the sense that the transaction is made without leaving Google, as happens with the OTA. If the user has a good experience in the booking funnel of Book on Google, the same could become loyal and prefer this type of “facilitated” booking over direct reservations on the hotel’s website.
What do I need to activate these new countries in Book on Google?
You need an integration partner with Google Hotel Ads (here is the official Google list) and who also offers the functionality of Book on Google. Today, very few partners offer it. Mirai is one of these few and we offer Book on Google to ALL our clients without added cost.
- If you already use Google Hotel Ads and ALSO Book on Google, check with your connectivity partner to activate these new points of sale.
- If you participate in Google Hotel Ads but NOT in Book on Google, again check with your connectivity partner to see if they can offer you Book on Google.
- If you still HAVEN’T invested in Google Hotel Ads, maybe this is the time to try it out.
And the Room Booking Module … will it also be available in these new markets?
The Room Booking Module (RBM), the functionality within Google Hotel Ads that allows you to show the photos of your rooms in your ads, is totally related to the use of Book on Google. Therefore, by activating BoG in these new markets, the RBM will also be activated.
Once again, one of the most important players in the online hotel distribution sets the benchmark and the rest have to adapt. We can ignore where the industry is going and still think that direct sales will be the same as before but it’s not like that. Like it or not, everything will change in a few years and there will be those who want to adapt to change and those who ignore it. At Mirai we always look into things, crunching the numbers by ourselves to come to the best decisions. And in this case, it will not be any different.