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Add or update Points of Sale (POS)

The point of sale (POS) manager in the Hotel Ads Center helps partners define how their hotel ads web pages work. You can use the POS manager to create a new POS, define or change a display name, define a dynamic URL, and manage other web page capabilities. 

This article explains recent updates to the POS toolset in the Hotel Ads Center. 

What's changed

There have been several improvements to the POS interface, as outlined below:

  • The upload XML flow has changed and the Submit for Approval button has been removed. Previously, all updates were approved and verified by a TAM. Now, you test and verify your updates yourself.​
    • Any updates to your point of sale now require you to go to the testing landing page. Changes are not saved until you reach the end of the testing process.
  • You can reorder your POS in the tool with the "Reorder" button.
  • Allowed / not allowed capabilities can be set in the Manager.
  • You need a live Hotel Listing Feed, saved price endpoint, and unexpired cached prices to setup and test a Point of Sale.

Access the POS Manager

To access the Point of Sale toolset in your Hotel Ads Center dashboard, follow the directions below:

  1. Log in to your Hotel Ads Center account.
  2. Navigate to Tools in the main menu. 
  3. Select Point of Sale > Manager in the left navigation panel. The POS view displays, as shown below:

Here, you can add a new POS, update a POS, reorder your POSes, and upload/download XML files. 

Note: When you make updates to your XML flow, we flag risky updates, and let you know if they will be reviewed by your TAM. Risky updates include large changes in coverage, lack of test URLs generated, or test URLs that resolve to HTTP 500. 

Add a new POS

A POS lets you define the capabilities of your webpage. You can describe your website handles booking requests from Google hotel ads. At least one POS is required. You can set up additional POSes to customize handling for different devices, languages, currencies, etc.
 
To create a new POS, navigate to the the Point of Sale Manager page and follow the steps below: 

  1. Click +Add new POS.

    The setup guide displays:
  2. Complete each of the following steps:
    1. Choose a unique ID. This ensures the correct address on your website receives booking requests from Google Hotel Ads. 
    2. Set your display name. Display names are optional for CRS/Owners (hotel name is the default display name), but are required for OTAs.
    3. Optional: Set your capabilities, including locality, device, languages, and currency.
  3. Add a URL manually, or have the PFE generate one automatically. Follow the steps below:
    1. Add a URL manually: 
      1. Paste your URL into the open URL field:
      2. Optional: Double click any relevant parameters to add them to your URL:
      3. Click Test URL when your URL is complete. 
    2. Add a URL automatically:
      1. ​Click Switch to automatic mode:
      2. Follow the prompts to generate your URL by providing examples of existing urls for your landing page. You can provide up to 3 examples that match the itineraries listed:
  4. Click Next. If you see orange alert icons, that means that we couldn’t match any Google variables to those parameters. We recommend you check whether those are static or dynamic variables.
  5. Add and remove variables, adjust your parameters to Google recommended variables as necessary. Review spelling, parameters and the structure of URL. Click Next after you have updated your URL:
  6. Test your URL by checking the generated examples and their associated itineraries. We will add red alert icons to URLs that don’t resolve to http 200.
  7. Click Complete to finish your URL setup. 

After you add a new POS, it’s added to your POS configuration. You can reorder, edit, and make changes to your POS on the Manager page.

Understand coverage rates

When reviewing your POSs, your coverage rates may not add up to 100%. Coverage is based on the percent of estimated potential traffic to your account and the percent of traffic you’re missing.

Note: You can see your coverage rates on the Summary page and whenever you edit, reorder, or inspect your Point of Sale.

Edit a POS file

We recommend you use the Edit POS flow in the POS Manager if you need to make small changes to a POS. To make bulk changes, upload an XML file.
To edit a POS, follow the steps below:
  1. Navigate to the Manager page. 
  2. Click Edit on the section you want to change.
    Note: Reorder items with the Reorder button. To delete changes, click the black garbage icon to the right of each field. 
  3. Make changes and click Next
  4. Test your POS. 
  5. Review the POS flow to ensure it’s accurate and the URLs are working as intended.  
After you test your URL, navigate back to the Summary page and click Save. Changes do not save automatically.

Bulk edit a POS with XML files

If you need to make bulk changes to a POS, use the Upload XML tool. For one-off changes, we recommend you use the Edit POS flow. You can upload new XML files from the Point of Sale Manager page:

  1. Update a POS XML file as needed. 
  2. On the Manager page, click Upload XML and select your file: 
  3. Click Test

If you have errors, review our schema troubleshooting information.

Test URLs

Testing your dynamic URLs is essential to the success of your ads. Broken or inaccurate URLs can cause your ads to stop showing, and significantly decrease your ad revenue. To test your URLs, follow the steps below:

  1. Log in to your Hotel Ads Center account.
  2. Navigate to Tools in the main menu. 
  3. Under Point of sale, click Manager in the left-hand menu. 
  4. Find the POS ID of the property you want to test, and click the eye icon . The test URL and parameters display on the Summary page:

  5. Click Edit next to the example URL.
  6. Verify your parameters; especially the hotel ID, the check-in and checkout dates, and the number of adults on the itinerary. This basic information is required to render a landing page that is consistent with our landing page policy.


     
    1. If you need to adjust any of the parameters, click Edit to make changes. To delete a parameter, press the red “X” next to the field.
  7. Press Test URL when you’re ready.
  8. If green check marks appear, your URLs are functioning properly:


    If red check marks appear, there are issues that need to be resolved before your URLs can be tested. If you don’t resolve these errors, you’ll get a warning:

Note: It’s best practice to click Cancel and review your URLs for errors before you proceed. If you continue, your URLs may not be eligible to show in search results. 

Troubleshoot URL test errors

There are several common causes of errors when you test URLs. To troubleshoot, try the solutions below:
If you see red check marks:
Review the last changes you made to your URL parameters on the Edit page. Some changes may not be formatted correctly. 
If the PFE could not generate test URLs at all:
Occasionally, you may test URLs and get a warning that says no POS parameters are found, as shown:
If you get this list of errors, follow the steps below:
  1. Check your URL parameters. If you updated your site capabilities, the new parameters may not match your cached prices on Google. 
  2. If you use AllowablePointsOfSale, update your price feed with the POS ID in context to allow Google to generate test URLs. 
  3. Check Feed status for errors and warnings Google might be experiencing while parsing your prices.

If none of the above solutions resolve your problem, reach out to your Technical Account Manager (TAM) for more details.

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