Bidding overview

There are many different ways to manage your bidding and performance on Hotel Ads. Competitive bidding (regardless of the bid strategy or strategies that you use) helps drive more customer volume to your properties.

This section includes the following topics to give you a general understanding of the various bidding strategies available to you:

Bid strategies

Before you begin bidding, you should consider the various types of bidding strategies. You can combine them or use a single strategy, depending on your overall ads strategy.

Note: If you’re using campaigns, learn more about choosing a bid strategy

The following table describes bid strategies:

 

Strategy Description Applies at Payment Conversion tracking required?* Bid multipliers?**

Smart bidding strategies

CPA 

Your bid is a cost-per-conversion, which you set as a percent of booking value. Bids are automatically adjusted to maximize conversions.

Suitable for partners who want an easy way to focus on conversion value with no overhead.

Campaigns

Pay per conversion
Target ROAS

Optimizes bids for conversions while trying to achieve the target return on ad spend that you set.

Suitable for partners who have more than 100+ hotels and want to use automated bidding.

Campaigns

Hotel groups (legacy structure)

CPC (cost-per-click)

Enhanced CPC

Automatically adjusts bid multipliers and works with Max CPC bid strategies.

Suitable for partners who want real-time, automated bid adjustments targeting their best-performing customer segments.

Campaigns (with Max CPC strategy) CPC
Commission

Set your commission at the campaign level and you pay a commission on consumed guest stay (net of cancellations). For more information, contact Google.

Suitable for integration partners and central reservation systems (commission collection by partner is highly recommended, compared to using a 3rd-party collection agency).

Note: You need to contact your Sales Account Manager to determine your eligibility for the Commission program.

Campaigns

Hotel groups (legacy structure)

Percent of consumed stay

Manual bidding strategies

Max CPC (percent or fixed)
Your bid is the cost per click, set by one of the following:
  • % of room price
  • Fixed amount/night

Suitable for partners with sophisticated bidding management capabilities such as large Online Travel Agents (OTA).

Campaigns, ad groups, or individual hotels

Account default, Hotel groups, individual hotels (legacy structure)

CPC or % of rate

* Whether or not conversion tracking must be set up in order to use that bidding strategy.
** Whether or not you can use Bid Multipliers with this bidding strategy.


Qualifying for auctions

When a customer executes a search that would result in Hotel Ads being displayed, Google first fetches eligible prices for hotels and then runs the auction. After the results of the auction, Google displays the ads with the winning bids to the end-user.

Several factors can affect whether your bids qualify for inclusion in the auction:

  • Itinerary matching: Rates from your Hotel Price Feed must match the end-user's exact itinerary. For example, if the end-user searches for a 3-night stay that starts on July 14th, then you must have submitted rates that exactly match 3 nights, starting on July 14th. No other rates for any other combinations of lengths of stays/check-in dates will be considered for the auction.
    Note: For a particular itinerary, only 1 CRS (Central Reservation Systems) gets eligible to show their ads.
  • All-inclusive vs itemized rates: Your participation in an auction can depend on whether you provide all-inclusive rates or itemized rates (rates that break out taxes and fees).
    • For the US and Canada: Hotels with all-inclusive rates are only included in the auction if no hotels with itemized rates bid.
    • For all other countries: Hotels with all-inclusive rates and itemized rates are treated the same.
  • Incomplete rates: Regardless of geographic location, hotels with incomplete rates are only included in the auction if no other hotels with all-inclusive or itemized rates are part of the auction. Incomplete rates are when Google detects that tax information is missing or incomplete, or if the taxes are set to 0, but the price is not tagged as all-inclusive.
  • Account status: If your account has been disabled due to Price Accuracy Policy violations, your hotels will not be included in the auctions.
  • Spending caps: If you set your spending cap to 0, or your account has met or exceeded your spending cap, then your hotels will not be included in the auction.

Bid multipliers

Note: If you’re using campaigns, read the Campaign bidding guide for information about bid multipliers.

With bid multipliers, you set your base bid for a hotel or a group of hotels once. You then define factors to apply to the base bid for dimensions that you want to customize (such as the end-user's country, device type, or length of stay).

Bid multipliers can be applied as positive (increasing the bid) or negative (decreasing the bid). Positive bid multipliers can be from 0% (resulting in a bid that is the same as the base bid) to 1,000% (resulting in a bid that is 10 times the bid). Negative multipliers can be from 0% to 100% (resulting in a bid of 0). Note: Bid multipliers for audience lists can only be positive.

When the auction is run, your final bid is tabulated using the base bid for the hotel multiplied by all applicable multipliers to obtain a final value. For example, if your base bid is $1.00, and your multiplier for a length of stay (LOS) of 7 or more nights is 1.3, then your final bid for an end-user searching for a 7-night stay is $1.30 for that ad.

You can use more than one bid multiplier for each bid. When calculating the final bid amount, all multipliers are applied. For example, if your base bid is $1.00, and you have an LOS for 7+ days at 1.3 and a country=France multiplier of .8, then your final bid for an end-user in France searching for a 7-night stay is $1.04 (1 * 1.3 * .8).

For more information, see Using bid multipliers.

You can change your base bid or multipliers at any time, and your changes apply immediately.

Bid levels

Note: This section applies only to legacy account structures. If you’re bidding with campaigns, see bid levels and campaigns.

A bid level determines which bid to use for a hotel. In addition, these same levels are used when determining which Bid Multiplier to use.

Depending on the bidding strategy, you can set bids at one or more of the following bids levels (in order of precedence):

  • Individual hotel bid (for a single hotel)
  • Group default bid (for a hotel group)
  • Account default bid (for all hotels)

Individual hotel bid: A bid set on an individual hotel is called the hotel bid (or individual hotel bid). This is the most-specific bid level; an individual hotel bid applies only to that hotel, regardless of whether that hotel is in a Hotel Group. Hotels with the individual Hotel Bid set ignore other default bids.

Group default bid: The default bid set on a hotel group is called the group default bid. This bid applies only to hotels that are in the Hotel Group to which the bid is applied. If a hotel in the group also has an individual hotel bid set on it, then the individual hotel bid takes precedence. Hotels in a group with a group default bid set ignore the account default bid.

Account default bid: The default bid set on all hotels in your account is called the account default bid. This is the least-specific bid level, and applies only to hotels that do not have an individual hotel bid or group default bid set on them.

After the bid amount is determined based on the most-specific bid level, Hotel Ads can apply bid multipliers to modify your bid.

Spending caps

You can use the Hotel Ads Center or the Bids API to define the following kinds of limits on your spending:

  • Daily spending cap (or budget): The most you can spend across all auctions in a single day (not including Commissions).
  • Maximum bid cap: A threshold for all bids. No bids will exceed this amount.

For information on setting caps with the Hotel Ads Center, see Setting spending caps. For information on setting the caps programmatically, see Setting spending caps.

For troubleshooting and issues with reporting, your Hotel Ads Center account and account management, contact Hotel Prices Help

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