Google Experiments With New Hotel Finder
Users can enter their location, check-in (and check-out) dates, price, and hotel rating and then be presented with a list of hotels that match their specified criteria. It’s from there that the ‘experiment’ gets more interesting as you are then able to the define the exact neighborhoods that you’re thinking of staying in – in whatever shape you like.
As well as drawing shapes over your chosen area, Google also highlights popular locations on the map to help you choose, at a glance, where might be best to stay.
With the service being being billed as an ‘experiment’, we can expect many of these features to be built upon and for new ones to be added. The service is currently available in only seven US cities but it’s likely that it will be rolled out across further cities and countries in the near future.
As Google are not in the business of simply helping people, there is of course the issue of money. Once you have defined your search and read reviews of each hotel, you can click on the ‘Book’ menu, with price listings from Booking.com, Expedia, and others. Each price, however, is listed as an ad, which suggests that these referral sites will also be giving a referral fee to Google as well.
With an interactive search tool such as this, it will surely become a preferred method of searching for hotels sooner rather than later. Along with Google’s recent acquisition of ITA Software, a company that specialises in organising airline data, this ‘experiment’ looks like the first step in Google’s plan to start controlling how we travel.