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Ad Preview Tool

The Ad Preview tool is a simple and flexible way to validate your hotel ads.

This section includes the following topics:

Overview

The Ad Preview tool helps you validate the following:

  • Hotel Status: Ensure that a hotel is participating in Hotel Ads auctions.
  • Deep Links: Check that links to your booking pages are generated correctly.
  • Points of Sale: Check that Google uses the appropriate Point of Sale (POS), based on your test settings.

The Ad Preview tool lets you customize searches so that you can validate your hotel using a variety of scenarios. Custom conditions include the itinerary and Google site on which the ads would be displayed. They also include information about the end-user, such as the end-user's device type, default language, and country from which they searched.

Using the Ad Preview Tool

The Ad Preview tool simulates the ad serving environment so that you can diagnose potential issues with hotels' statuses, points of sale (POS), price accuracy, and generated booking links.

To validate a hotel's ad with the Ad Preview tool:

  1. Open Hotel Ads Center in a browser.
  2. Select the Dashboard tab (the default).
  3. In the View By dropdown menu, select Hotel ID


     
  4. Click the hotel in the list that you want to test. You cannot preview ads for Hotel Groups or more than one hotel at a time.
  5. Click the Ad Preview & Diagnostics button:

    Hotel Ads Center displays the Ad Preview & Diagnosis view which indicates whether the preview with the default settings is currently displaying. The following example shows a successful preview:

    If the preview fails, then the Ad Preview & Diagnosis view shows a failed preview:

    The previews appear similar, except for the value of the Showing Right Now? field. A value of "Yes" indicates success. "No" indicates failure. The remaining steps provide more details about testing different options and resolving failures.

  6. (Optional) Set the values of the following options. These options represent a fictional itinerary and hypothetical end-user to test against.
    • Date: Enter a range of values that represent the simulated itinerary. The default value is a one-night stay that occurs two weeks from the current date.
    • Google Site: Select the Google property from which the end-user sees the ad. Possible values are:
      • "Local Universal": Simulates results from an organic search, typically by searching on google.com.
      • "Map Results": Simulates a search from maps.google.com.
      • "Place Page": Simulates a search from a G+ place page.

      The default selection is "Local Universal".

    • Device Type: Select the type of hardware that the hypothetical end-user conducted the search on. Possible values are:
      • "Desktop"
      • "Mobile"
      • "Tablet"

      The default selection is "Desktop".

    • Language: Enter the hypothetical end-user's language. The default is "English".
    • Domain: Enter the country from which a hypothetical end-user used Google.com to search. The default domain is "United States." 
  7. Click the Preview button. The Ad Preview tool generates data about the hotel based on your selections and updates the following values in the dialog box:
    • Showing Right Now?: Indicates the status of the hotel. A value of "Yes" indicates that the hotel is shown. A value of "No" indicates the hotel is not shown. If the value is "No", the Ad Preview tool displays potential reasons for the failure. For a list of status messages, see Status Messages.
    • Matched Point of Sale ID: The ID of the Point of Sale (POS) that this ad uses when served. If you have multiple booking sites, then the ID is determined by using Google's Point of Sale matching rules.
    • Deep Link URL: The URL that the hypothetical end-user is sent to if they clicked on the hotel's ad. Also known as a the booking link or POS URL.

      To conform to Google's policies, the deep link should:

      • (Standard rooms) Point to a page where the hotel name and price are clearly listed.
      • (Room Bundle rates) Point to a page where the Room Bundle name and price are listed. The appropriate room package should be either pre-selected or highlighted.

      In both cases, the resulting booking page should be the location that the end-user can book the room without navigating to a different website or selecting the hotel again.

    In some cases, a negative status can prevent Google from generating the Deep Link URL or determining a matching point of sale ID.

    For information about how your deep link is generated, see Building Dynamic POS URLs.

  8. To try a new search for the same hotel with different options, change the options and click the Preview button again.
  9. When you are done using the tool for the current hotel, click the Close button. If you preview other hotels, the Ad Preview tool remembers your current settings.

Status Messages

The value of Showing Right Now? indicates the hotel's status. A value of "No" (followed by a status message) indicates that the hotel is not showing in the results. The following example shows a hotel that is not being shown:

In some cases, the Ad Preview tool is unable to generate a deep link for the ad or determine a matching point of sale.

The following table describes the status messages:

Status Message More Information
"Not showing due to insufficient bid. Try raising your bid." See Bidding User Guide.
"Not showing due to invalid bid. Try updating your bid via the Hotel Ads Center, or validating your bids XML file." See Bidding User Guide or use the Feed Validation tool. 
"Your daily spending cap has been reached. Increase your budget to maximize your ad's reach." See Budgeting Guide.
"Your account is not active yet." Contact Google using the contact form
"Price not available for this itinerary."

Check that your prices are available by using the Show Hotel Prices tool, as described in the Hotel Ads Center User Guide. This tool displays the prices in the Google cache for the various itineraries from the current date forward.

You can also enter different dates for your hypothetical itinerary and click the Preview button again. You can also use the Feed Status tool to check for price feed errors, or check that your price feed is configured to provide prices for this itinerary.

"Hotel has been suspended." See Price Accuracy Policy or Price Violations.
"No matching Point of Sale could be found." See POS Matching Rules.
"Price for this itinerary is restricted to a closed user group." The price is restricted because it uses Fenced Rates. You cannot view this ad using the Ad Preview tool.
"Price for this itinerary has incomplete tax & fee data." See Price Accuracy Policy or Taxes and Fees Policy.
"Price not available for partner" Either no price has been supplied to Google matching the selected itinerary or a price has been provided, but in the wrong format and is considered invalid & unavailable.
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