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How Google captures information about people searching for hotels

24 January 2017 (Edited 30 August 2017)

Metasearch hotel advertising company Koddi has published an article by Zach Rector which explains how Google conducts surveys of - and acquires valuable information from - consumers who are searching for a hotel.

Google apparently selects an random users who are looking at hotels in the Knowledge Panel and asks them a series of 3 questions about their motivation for searching for a hotel. Users are cautioned not to enter personal information. And users are free to opt out of the survey, and continue with their search without responding.

  • Question 1 (open-ended): What information are you looking for in regards to this hotel?
  • Question 2 (multiple choice): Which of the following best describes your trip?
    • Road trip
    • Trip of a lifetime
    • Event driven
    • Family vacation
    • Weekend getaway
    • Not traveling, just looking
    • Other (please specify)
  • Question 3 (multiple choice): Which of the following best describes where you are in your travel planning?
    • Booked this hotel and need some information
    • Chosen this hotel, looking for more info
    • Decided on destination, looking at hotels
    • Unsure destination, looking at hotel options
    • This is one of the few hotels I am considering
    • I have previously stayed here
    • Other (please specify)

Based on limited experience with the Google survey, people at Koddi believe it to be linear (vice branched); that is, all respondents seem to get the same 3 questions regardless of how they respond to each.

Once Google has accumulated a sufficiently large database of user responses - level of interest in hotels, trip planning process, position in the sales funnel - it will be able to identify hotel ads most likely to draw clicks on specific searches, and rank these ads above others in search returns. That will make more searchers happy, and not coincidentally make more money for Google.

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