A new tutorial on the Google Ads YouTube channel goes over easy, step-by-step instructions for setting up free hotel booking links.

This video can help Google Ads users learn how to take advantage of a feature the company launched within the past year.

Google announced free booking links for hotels in March 2021, expanding opportunities for small boutiques to large chains across the country.

These listings provide free traffic directly to your site and provide live updates and availability. With the additions to this link type, free booking links can be used in conjunction with hotel ads to maximize exposure.

What Are Free Booking Links?

Free booking links currently show on Google when a user searches hotel prices and availability and looks at the details of a particular hotel.

A key benefit of these links is they allow you to send users directly to a page of your choosing.

When travellers search for a hotel in Google and click on “check availability,” it takes them to a page listing all options to book the selected hotel.

google ads hotel booking linksScreenshot from YouTube.com/GoogleAds, January 2022.

How Do Free Hotel Booking Links Work?

There are a few key differences to free booking links and paid booking links.

A hotel ad is a paid link, where the list is ranked according to Google’s ad auction and algorithm.

Free booking links are unpaid links that are ranked according to how useful they are to users.

Google sometimes shows free booking links alongside of paid hotel ads.

What Do Hotel Ads Look Like?

Free booking links display similar information to paid hotel ads. They display:

  • Your site name (or hotel name)
  • Room rate for dates selected
  • Official site badge (if you are the hotel owner, direct supplier, or technology provider)
google ads free hotel booking linksScreenshot from YouTube.com/GoogleAds, January 2022.

How To Set Up Free Booking Links

If you are a Hotel Center partner, you may already be showing up for free booking links.

Hotels are automatically eligible to show free booking links by meeting the following requirements :

  • Existing Hotel Center partner
  • Currently participating in Hotel Ads

Any property that has a bid, available rates, and a dedicated landing page in existing hotel campaigns are eligible to show.

If you are a hotel or hotel partner, and have not set up a Hotel Center account, that is the first place to start. There are multiple guides depending on the hotel role, including:

  • Hotel owner
  • Connectivity partner
  • Agency

The Hotel Center is the hub where you can manage the property’s online presence. Hotel information and management details are confirmed through a Google Business Profile.

Once this information is set up, you have the option to set up free booking links and/or run hotel ads.

If your hotel uses a reservation system, it might be connected to Google through that provider. It is best to check with the provider to set up your free booking links.

Are Vacation Rental Homes Eligible?

Individual owners of vacation rental properties are ineligible for free hotel booking links from Google Ads.

However, if you own a property management business, you may be eligible for a Hotel Center account.

Currently, the requirements in this category include:

  • You must be a registered property management business
  • You need to have a direct booking website, OR
  • Be listed on a booking site that is integrated with Vacation Rentals on Google

For more information, see the full video from Google below:


Featured Image: PST Vector/Shutterstock





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