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Google Announces Free Option For Travel Ads Hotels Can Advertise For Free On Google's Travel Portal

author image Written by: Wade Morris           Categories - In The News

There’s one question that every frequent traveller probably has an answer to: what’s the first destination you’ll explore when the COVID-19 pandemic ends?

Google knows that tourists are antsy to start preparing their post-pandemic travel plans, and travel companies are excited too. The search engine company cites these reasons for one noteworthy change they recently made to their trip-planning portal, Google Travel. Now, travel companies will be able to display booking links on the portal for free.

Google Travel shows photographs, pricing, and descriptions to accompany each booking link. Previously, travel companies would have to pay to have their links appear on the portal – these are called hotel ads. Google still offers hotel ads, but has now added a free option.

What’s the difference?

“No one can buy a better placement for free booking links,” according to Google, though “advertisers can bid to be ranked higher in the hotel ads section.” In other words, the paid ad option is a safer bet for travel companies to ensure their links will rank high.

Ultimately, Google says that users will have a wider access to booking options because of this change.

Google had previously made similar changes to Google Flights and Google Shopping, so it’s possible that we’ll continue to see the search engine unroll free options on its various web portals.

Wade Morris

Wade brings an energetic approach to writing – he is always on the hunt for stories and angles that matter. With years of experience in journalism and marketing environments, Wade has written about everything from politics to education. Now, he writes about SEO and digital marketing trends.

Google Updates Its Guidelines for Search Quality Raters

10/20/2021

Google has finally updated its Search Quality Raters guidelines this week after a year without any updates.

For those who are unfamiliar, Google’s Search Quality Raters Guidelines offer insight into how Google assesses the quality of online content.

The last update took place on October 14, 2020, and was 175 pages. The latest update saw three of those pages removed, reducing the document to 172 pages. However, according to Search Engine Round Table, 3,635 changes were made – 807 replacements, 812 insertions, and 356 deletions.

Here is a quick summary of what was changed:

  • The definition of the YMYL subcategory ‘Groups of people’ has been expanded

  • Direction on how to research reputation information for websites and content creators has been revised

  • The ‘Lowest Page Quality’ section has been restructured, updated, reorganized, and refreshed

  • The definition of ‘Upsetting-Offensive’ has been simplified and redundancy in the Lowest Page Quality section has been removed

  • Other minor changes have been made throughout the document, such as updated screenshots and URLs, wording, and examples for consistency removed outdated examples and fixed typos.

Here’s what the ‘Groups of people’ section looks like now: 

“Information about or claims related to groups of people, including but not limited to those grouped on the basis of age, caste, disability, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, immigration status, nationality, race, religion, sex/gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, victims of a major violent event and their kin, or any other characteristic that is associated with systemic discrimination or marginalization.”

Along with reporting from Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Round Table, SEO consultant Glenn Gabe also took to Twitter to share some of his insights on the new document.

Check it out below:

 

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Google Caps off Volatile Week With Another Algorithm Update

10/08/2021

What in the world is going on with the internet this week? It was only Monday that we reported that Google had rolled out a massive unconfirmed update, and the following day, Facebook experienced a colossal outage affecting billions of people around the world. Now, Search Engine Round Table is reporting yet ANOTHER unconfirmed update appears to be happening. And yes, this all happened in the span of a week. What a wild ride it’s been. 

While this latest update doesn’t appear to be as big as the one that took place last weekend, Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Round Table is reporting that tracking tools seem to show that an update began rolling out on October 6th, peaked on October 7th, and is now starting to slow down.

This time around, there is way more industry chatter going on in the SEO forums. Here are some interesting snippets posted in WebmasterWorld around October 6th:

“Seeing a return of the drop in USA traffic in the middle part of the day again. Starts in the morning and traffic remains very low for hours. Back to the old June patterns…”

“For me traffic has fallen off the cliff edge today with hardly any multiple page view visitors.

Over the last few weeks I have also seen many, many visits by Singapore, Huawei Clouds.” 

“Yesterday was my worst traffic day in years. Gulp!” 

“All competitors I am tracking are down today with only one exception, me lol I am in the same position as I was yesterday but the biggest volume keywords were targeted and pushed down the serps. Some low volume keywords improved. The algorithms constantly target high volume keywords.”

Tracking tools aren’t showing a ton of volatility, mostly just a shift in the Google search results. Overall, things look pretty calm compared to the update last weekend. Still, we’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

Check out the screenshots posted by Search Engine Round Table:

Semrush:

SEM Rush tracking 

Cognitive SEO:

Cognitive SEO report

SERPmetrics:

SERP Metrics report

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