How to integrate with Vacation Rentals

Similar to Hotel Ads, integrating with Vacation Rentals requires partners to complete one-time tasks in order to set up the vacation rental properties and prices to be displayed to users searching for their next destination. The integration process can be started either directly with Google by meeting the requirements listed below and completing the Vacation Rentals interest form, or by collaborating with an approved third-party integration partner. Once approved, a technical account manager will be in touch with you at every step of the integration pipeline.

Before you begin

Before integrating with Vacation Rentals, partners should be able to provide the following:

  • A designated partner technical contact who can be contacted by a Google technical account manager
  • A contract signed with Google to protect customer privacy
  • Localized self-service or email-based user support

Approved connectivity providers

If you have fewer than 5,000 properties, before considering a direct integration, we strongly recommend working with one of our connectivity providers listed below to get your properties shown on Google.

If you are already working with a connectivity partner that is not listed above, please encourage them to follow the steps below. If you would like to become a connectivity partner with Google, or if you think direct integration is the right path for you, please follow the same steps to get started.

1. Pre-integration

After completing the Vacation Rentals interest form, if a partner is deemed technically capable, a technical account manager at Google will reach out to begin onboarding. Based on the status of the partner’s technical capabilities, discussions will involve developing a plan to fulfill requirements needed to onboard, as well as setting an estimated timeline for the completion of these tasks.

2. Set up your vacation rentals list

The vacation rental list contains all the properties that a partner wishes to show on Google. This feed contains the physical attributes of the property, including name, address, GeoCode locations, image and website URLs, and amenities. If you are unsure whether your property is a Vacation Rental or Hotel, please refer to our categories for hotels and lodging businesses.

For initial ingestion, partners will share a listing feed with Google based on the specifications provided in the Hotel List Feed XML Reference. However, unlike hotel lists, partners should include relevant attributes specific to Vacation Rentals. The ingestion of the listing feed can take approximately 2 - 4 weeks, during which Google will be in touch with partners to assist with troubleshooting and optimizing the feed.

Note: While omitting attribute values listed as “Optional (strongly recommended)” do not prevent the list feed from validating, doing so may result in the listing not showing in search results with certain filters applied.

3. Determine how you'll update your vacation rental prices

Similar to Hotels integration, Vacation Rentals allows various price feed delivery modes through which partners can send pricing updates to Google for vacation rental properties. The process to develop the pricing cache Google uses to determine itinerary combinations consists of the following:

  1. Once listing feed ingestion and troubleshooting is complete, partners will need to set up Hotel Price Integration by providing a source URL from which Google will be able to request updated itinerary prices for vacation rental properties.
  2. Partners fill in values for hotel itineraries per second (HIPs), hotel batch size per query, and maximum parallel connections to partner:
    • HIPs - The total number of hotels/itineraries we request from your server per second. (This does not apply to Changed Pricing integration method.)
    • Batch size - The number of hotels Google should query for in each message.
    • Maximum parallel connections - The maximum number of parallel simultaneous connections (threads) your server can support from Google.
  3. Initial price setup/authentication setup is completed if necessary. Once a connection is made using default settings, feedback is given to partners for increasing bandwidth capabilities to production levels.
  4. Partners fill the cache with itinerary prices. Vacation Rentals currently supports an advance booking window of up to 330 days and a length of stay of up to 30 days. Partners are encouraged to use these guidelines to provide as many booking options as possible.

4. Customize your landing pages

Partners are expected to provide at least one landing page URL template in their landing page setup. You can define how Google constructs the link so that it includes additional information about the user and their itinerary. For Vacation Rentals, you can include information such as the hotel ID, occupancy, and check-in dates in the URL. Learn more about managing and updating your landing page

In order to provide a seamless experience for users, partners should consider the following when setting up their landing page:

  1. Landing pages should load in a reasonable time and appear fully functional. A page may be considered non-functional if content such as images and descriptions, prices, or links fail to load. A page load time of 3 seconds or less is recommended for best user experience and optimizing conversion. Google will consider a page to be non-functional if a user is unable to interact with the page for more than 10 seconds.
  2. All booking related information should be pre-populated for the user upon landing on the partner website for the best user experience and conversion (for example, check-in date, length of stay, and number of occupants). Learn more about our referral experience policy
  3. At least one landing page template should cover every user as a default template. Separate landing page URL templates can be created for specific sections of users based on country, language and other user attributes.

5. Google Ads setup

In order to begin displaying Vacation Rentals properties on Google, partners will need to set up a Google Ads account, along with an associated Vacation Rentals account. Note that the Google Ads account is solely used to enable properties to be displayed on Google; the account will not be billed as Vacation Rentals placement does not involve any bidding or campaign management.

Partners can contact their sales account manager to assist with setting up a Google Ads account, or technical account manager to assist with linking campaigns in Google Ads with a Hotel Center account.

6. Price Accuracy and data evaluation

Once you complete data feeds integration in Hotel Center, you can use hotel campaigns in Google Ads to dynamically bid and set specific budgets based on your advertising strategy. Learn more about onboarding in Google Ads through our external help center resources
For campaign management, partners can make use of the Google Ads API. It allows you to create/modify campaigns and view metrics regarding your ad performance.

Price Accuracy represents a data quality requirement for Vacation Rentals and is a reflection of how complete and accurate your pricing is in your price feed relative to the prices shown on your own website. Google frequently performs price accuracy checks and shares up-to-date results to partners through Hotel Center. Google expects partners to comply with the defined Price Accuracy Policy and Referral Experience Policy at all times and to troubleshoot issues using self-service tools in Hotel Center.

  • Google will work with partners on implementing taxes and fees specific to their vacation rental properties into the price feed, such as on-site payments and additional mandatory charges
  • Google will assist in troubleshooting any pricing issues to ensure that onboarding partners can maintain an “Excellent” price accuracy score for three consecutive days in order for the account to be activated.

Guideline for prices to be passed to Google

Compared to pricing for hotels, vacation rental pricing can vary significantly by including additional payments, such as cleaning fees, pet fees, and usage based fees. It is important for Google that users have a positive experience when transferring from Google to a partner’s website. In order for users to smoothly transition from searching for itineraries to booking vacation rentals, we encourage partners to be as transparent with pricing as possible.

Partners should consider the following guidelines when sending itinerary prices for vacation rentals:

  1. The most accurate total price passed to Google should include all mandatory charges that a user will pay.
    • Optional or non-mandatory charges should be excluded from the total price and independently identified on the partner’s final booking page.
  2. It is recommended that all mandatory charges be listed in a structured format (tables, distinct UI, etc.) on the final booking page of your website, versus an unstructured format (mandatory charges detailed in fine print or hidden within other references).
  3. Additional mandatory charges that cannot be presented in a structured format, should still be noted in the description of the property and included in the total price that is passed to Google.
  4. Deposits or refundables should not be included in the total price sent to Google, but should be identified or provided in a separate section of your landing page or final booking page.
  5. It is recommended that total charges required to be paid during online booking versus check-in be specified separately on your landing or final booking page.
  6. Prior to onboarding, please check that you have the following fields on your final booking page:
    • Base rate
    • Base rate x total nights
    • All mandatory taxes and fees
    • Total price to pay during online booking
    • Total price to pay on check-in
    • Any refundable deposits or fees
  7. Review the table below on pricing details that are required to be provided to Google through your price feed:
Pricing Type Required to Provide to Google Examples
Base Rate Yes --
Mandatory taxes Yes City taxes
Mandatory fees Yes Cleaning fees
Fixed charges Yes Electricity usage (fixed cost per guest/night/stay)
Usage/consumption-based charges No Electricity usage (per kWh)
Refundable fees No Security deposit (returned to user on best case scenario)
Mandatory on-site fees/taxes Yes Resident-exempt fees/taxes (charges contingent on verifying a guest’s identity)

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