How to Get Free Hotel Booking Links in Google

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

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

Google announced free hotel booking links in March 2021, expanding the 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 additions to this link type, free booking links can be used in conjunction with hotel listings to maximize exposure.

What are free booking links?

Free booking links currently show up on Google when a user searches for hotel prices and availability and views details for a particular hotel.

One of the main advantages of these links is that they allow you to send users directly to a page of your choice.

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

Screenshot from YouTube.com/GoogleAds, January 2022.

How do free hotel booking links work?

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

A hotel ad is a paid link, where the listing is ranked based on Google’s bids and algorithm.

Free booking links are unpaid links that are ranked according to their usefulness to users.

Google sometimes displays free booking links next to paid hotel ads.

What do hotel ads look like?

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

  • Your site name (or hotel name)
  • Room rate for selected dates
  • Official site badge (if you are the hotel owner, direct vendor, or technology vendor)
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 checking out free booking links.

Hotels are automatically eligible to display free booking links by meeting the following conditions:

  • Existing Hotel Center Partner
  • Currently participating in Hotel Ads

Any property that has an auction, available rates, and a dedicated landing page in existing hotel campaigns can be advertised.

If you are a hotel or partner hotel and have not created a Hotel Center account, this is the first place to start. There are several guides depending on the role of the hotel, including:

  • hotel owner
  • Connectivity Partner
  • Agency

The Hotel Center is the hub where you can manage the hotel’s online presence. Hotel information and management details are confirmed via 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 may be connected to Google through this provider. It’s 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 not eligible for Google Ads free hotel booking links.

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

Currently, requirements in this category include:

  • You must be a registered property management company
  • You must have a direct booking site, OR
  • Be referenced on a booking site integrated with Vacation Rentals on Google

For more information, watch the full Google video below:


Featured Image: Vector PST/Shutterstock

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