Referral Experience Policy
The referral experience refers to the user’s experience after seeing a price on a Google site and then clicking through to a partner’s landing page and eventually the booking page. Google requires that you maintain a consistent presentation of the room and rate the user clicked on at the Google site to ensure a positive user referral experience.
What is the policy on interstitial pages appearing before the landing page?
Google considers the landing page to be where users actually end up after passing through any redirects resulting from a click on a referring link on a Google site. This stable page will be at the end of any redirects and will not change without manual user interaction.
Interstitial pages are web pages that appear before the landing page and that automatically redirect to the landing page after some time. Displaying interstitial pages between Google sites and your landing pages are discouraged. However, if you must show an interstitial, the interstitial must:
- Be branded as the HPA partner brand.
What is the policy on the landing page?
The landing page is encouraged to be the booking page. The landing page must:
- Be at most one click away from a booking page. The user shouldn't need to re-enter the selected hotel or dates at any point in the flow.
- Show the name of the hotel.
- Primarily feature the same room type, check-in date, check-out date, occupancy count, currency, language, and base rate associated with the link that the user clicked on at the refering Google site.
NOTE: Unavailability of the rate type clicked by the user on the referring Google site is considered an accuracy violation.
- If there is a primary booking button, it must reflect the rate associated with the link that the user clicked on at the refering Google site.
- If the landing page isn't the booking page, it is encouraged to include mandatory taxes and fees in addition to the appropriate base rate associated with the link that the user clicked on at the referring Google site.
What is the policy on the booking page?
The booking page must:
- Show the name of the hotel.
- Feature the same room type, check-in date, check-out date, occupancy count, currency, language, base rate, mandatory taxes, and mandatory fees associated with the link that the user clicked on at the refering Google site.
NOTE: Unavailability is considered an accuracy violation.
What is the lowest rate policy?
The lowest rate policy ensures that our users see the lowest rates that are available on your site.
Prices that you send to Google must be no greater than the prices that are displayed to users who begin a search from your booking site for the same hotel, check-in date, check-out date, occupancy count, currency, language, and room type.
If you send prices for an itinerary, you must send us the price for the lowest-price, double-occupancy room type available on your booking site (or single-occupancy room if no double-occupancy rooms are available).
Rates that are offered on your landing page must be identical in inclusions and conditions (e.g. refundability, wi-fi, points, etc.) to rates that are offered to users who begin a search from your booking site directly.
If you send rates that are bookable on a different site (for example, you are a metasearch site), the rate you send must be a rate you display from one of your booking partners (inclusive of all mandatory charges), and it is encouraged to be the lowest rate you display from any of your booking partners.
If you have lower rates that are only shown to certain users, you must use fenced rates if available for the user group (currently device or IP location) to send those rates to Google for display to eligible users.
Rates for itineraries that are not compliant with this policy will be considered inaccurate.
What happens if I violate this policy?
Google will consider any prices that are at the end of a policy-violating referral experience to be inaccurate. Any enforcement regarding low price accuracy numbers will then apply as normal. See the Price Accuracy Policy page for more detail on actions Google will taken in response to low price accuracy.