Google Maps continues to roll out new features relating to the real estate and travel sector, but the latest update doesn’t appear to be mentioned on any Google product blog and cannot find out anything more from anywhere. We can assume this stage that this is a new Google Maps feature that has now been enabled on both Google.com.au and Google.com search results for local Hotels and shows just below the 10 pack. The interesting feature is that the type of hotels is customised to match the types of hotels popular for that particular city but it does not seem to be available for all locations at this stage and can be seen at the bottom of each image.
The secondary point around these quick links is that they launch a refined query which means that a majority of browsing that a user might have done through the top 10, may not be skipped as they go straight back to fresh results based on the extra point of data. The user experience does seem a little better and the ability to quickly filter results is going to appeal to users but is likely going to wreck the business models of any hotel not showing in the 10 box or atleast the top 4 results.
So the ramifications for your hotel seo campaign is that top 10 results may likely not be good enough as an increased amount of verticals such as Restaurants but it will likely expand to cover other verticals as Google finds by supplying keywords they can increase search refinements and get users picking the top results it offers, no matter if sponsored or organic. I have taken a number of screenshots and included a brief analysis about the auto generated short links and if they are even relevant.
Local Google Maps business results for Brisbane Hotels
New Google Maps geographic specific additional links to filter results for Brisbane Hotels, seems to be partially matched to key locations, but leaves out SouthBank and also fails to list Riverviews as a key selection criteria which is a selling point of many hotels.
5 star – Casino – Boutique – Luxury – 3 star
Hotel near: Emporium – CBD – Queen St – Ann St – N Quay
Local Google Maps business results for Chicago Hotels
New Google Maps geographic specific additional links to filter results for Chicago Hotels, seems fairly standard and once again it leaves out a key feature of the Chicago to filter hotels by Lake views and not all searches may know that O’Hare is actually the airport name so may miss its intended audience for those who may have a flight into Chicago.
Boutique – Luxury – Suites – 5 star – 4 star
Hotel near: Michigan Ave – Magnificent Mile – Ohare – Essex – Lincoln Park
Local Google Maps business results for Las Vegas Hotels
New Google Maps geographic specific additional links to filter results for Las Vegas Hotels, seems a little tailored to the location but could have made use of a Family, Non-smoking or Non-gambling filter, and the hotels near seem more of a paid placement for MGM Mirage as the Hotel locations feature mainly their Hotel properties but not the Strip as a filter. While a number of the locations maybe considered Las Vegas landmarks the exposure to their brands is a little generous and there is no disclosure if they are in fact paid Hotel links.
5 star – Casino – Luxury – Weddings – 4 star
Hotel near: MGM – Luxor – Bellagio – Circus Circus – Downtown
Local Google Maps business results for Los Angeles Hotels
New Google Maps geographic specific additional links to filter results for Los Angeles Hotels is a little hit and miss as it also fails to feature one of the key aspects of LA being the Beachfront as a location to filter results. It also fails to allow filters by airport hotels or even popular tourism attractions such as Los Angeles theme parks like Universal Studios or DisneyLand which seems to miss an entire segment of the market who maybe looking to stay in Los Angeles.
Local Google Maps business results for London Hotels
New Google Maps geographic specific additional links to filter results for London Hotels is a little better but the locations featured seem to be mainly focused around transport and central locations, once again leaving out some of the key landmarks that tourists might want to book a hotel near. It also fails to list budget one of the key segments of the London hotel sector in the filter.
Local Google Maps business results for New York Hotels
New Google Maps geographic specific additional links to filter results for New York Hotels, seem to some of the better matched but still miss Wall Street as a location people may wish to stay near.
Local Google Maps business results for Sydney Hotels
New Google Maps geographic specific additional links to filter results for Sydney Hotels, also seem to pick transport hubs rather than popular tourist locations such as: The Opera House, The Rocks, Darling Harbour, Potts Point, Bondi Beach…
Local Google Maps business results for Washington DC Hotels
New Google Maps geographic specific additional links don’t appear for the results Washington DC Hotels which makes it appear to be an early beta test and still not year fully rolled out across all Local Maps results.
Analysis: The new filters seem to be a smart way to display more information about hotels available and the direct navigation to refine the query with a single click will likely appeal to those searching for hotels, but the filters need to be vastly improved to better match the locations they show for. It also makes it that bit harder to those doing hotel seo campaigns as there is now 2 more lines of results that push the organic results down the page and may encourage users to refine their query faster lowering the value of head terms such as “Los Angeles Hotels”