Google is rolling out new features to make hotel and flight bookings easier, ahead of the holiday season. The most significant features – Hotel Deals and Flights price tracking – will help users to find specific type of hotels and track flight rates.
Hotel Smart filters will allow users to search for hotels using specific queries such as ‘pet-friendly hotels in San Francisco under $200’ and more. This will help Google Search narrow down results to what a user exactly wants. The feature will go live in the US, and will be launched globally later this year.
There’s also a Hotel Deals feature, shows hotels with ‘lower than average’ pricing or those offering discounts, under a Deal label in Search results. “In our early tests, we’ve seen that hotels marked as deals receive about twice as many bookings as other hotels,” said Jonathan Alferness, VP, Product Management at Google.
Users can now track flight fare changes in Google Flights using the Flights price tracking feature. All a user needs to do is enter a date and route combination; and they will be notified when flight fares either increase or decrease significantly. Users will be notified by email and Google Now cards. The feature will be rolled out over the course of the next few weeks in all 26 countries where Google Flights is available.
Google’s Showcase Shopping ads will now show improved results for less defined searches such as “women’s athletic clothing” or “living room furniture.”
Google is making it easier for users to shop on YouTube by adding two new features – Companion banner and Product picker. Companion banner is a new interactive banner that will appear next to the video that lets viewers scroll through products while the video is playing next to it. Product picker is an optional feature that lets advertisers show specific products for specific campaigns.
Lastly, Google is testing a tool to perform currency conversions in Australia, Switzerland, Canada, and the UK.