Frequently Asked Questions

How does Google select and rank ads for a particular hotel placesheet?

For each impression, Google selects qualifying partners and prices (see Qualifying for Auctions), and then Google runs an auction to determine eligibility for a particular ad to be shown, and how it will be ranked among the competing hotel ads.

Each auction accounts for multiple factors, including Bid, Price, Price Accuracy, and Quality Score. Eligibility to show, and rank, can vary from auction to auction.

How do I improve my rank / get more traffic?

All things being equal, higher bids mean that on average your ad is more likely to be shown, and will appear in a higher position. Ads in higher positions are typically seen first by users, and tend to get more clicks than if the same ad had ranked lower.

Note: You can also improve your ads' competitiveness, rank, and likelihood of getting clicks by improving your prices, making sure you have excellent price accuracy, and taking advantage of extra rates and callouts.

What if my bid is too low?

If your bid is too low, your ad's reach may be limited, both by being considered for fewer auctions and due to competing ads that may be ranked higher.

You can determine how often you missed an opportunity to show due to insufficient bid via the missed_impression_bid_too_low metric in the Missed Opportunity report. You can also determine if you missed an impression because your bid was below the reserve price by looking at your Performance report. If impression = 0, slot_position = -1, and price_bucket = -1, then you missed those impressions because your bid was insufficient to meet the reserve.

To increase the likelihood of your ad showing, you should increase your bid.

How much do I pay for clicks when bidding a Max CPC?

Your Max CPC bid is the most you could be charged for a click when using the Max CPC bidding strategy, but you'll often be charged less. That final amount you're charged for a click is called the actual CPC.

Actual CPC is often less than max CPC because with the Hotel Ads auction, the most you'll pay is a minimal amount more than what's required to rank higher than the next advertiser, taking into account quality score (including pCTR), price, and ad format. You will only be charged for the clicks on the booking links that users actually click.

If you use CPA or Commissions bid strategies, you don't pay for clicks, and instead you pay for conversions or consumed stays, respectively.

How can I assess my current position and outcomes?

Your positioning in auctions is based on the following factors:

  • Room rate (the lower your room rate, the higher your auction positioning)
  • Your bid
  • Your overall price accuracy score (partners with a score of Excellent or Good will be positioned higher than partners with a score of Poor or At Risk).
  • Your overall Quality Score

The dashboard in the Hotel Ads Center, and the daily Performance reports, help you evaluate your ad performance and determine if you should bid higher. You can get these reports via email or by using the Reports API.

In the performance reports, the rank of your ad in the auction, when it was served, is indicated by the ad_position column. "1" is the best position.

The following table describes other columns in the Performance report that help you understand your position in the auction:

Name Column Name Description
Impressions Share eligible_impressions The % of eligible impressions that your ad was seen on. Bidding higher increases the chance of being served and seen.
Slot slot The location of your ad on the page (such as directly in the hotel overview, or in the rates menu).
Slot Position slot_position The position of your ad within that slot. For example, if slot is "M" (for Menu), and slot_position is "2", then your ad was the third ad in the menu. (Slot positions are "zero-based", meaning "0" is the first slot, "1" is the second slot, and so on.)

How is the reserve price for a hotel calculated?

The reserve price will be calculated by a combination of factors, similar to the AdWords Quality Score, and will vary in each auction.

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