Industry Update
Opinion Article 3 March 2016

What Really Drives Hotel Rankings on Google?

By RJ Friedlander, CEO of ReviewPro

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The world's leading search engine has recently launched a Google review collection widget in which ReviewPro and other vendors are partners. There has been some confusion in the market but Google confirms that all partners offer the same Google review collection capability to clients.

The only point of differentiation is that Google has licensed TrustYou data to use in search results for some hotel properties. It is important to realize that the Google review score and ranking algorithm are only based upon Google reviews. This can be confusing and some hotels might believe that by using TrustYou they can directly influence their rankings in Google. In fact, Google has confirmed that their review score and ranking algorithm are based only upon the ratings and volumes of Google reviews and that TrustYou's data has no direct impact on the ranking of hotel results on Google.

Relevance, distance and prominence are the key drivers to improve a hotel's ranking on Google. As explained in Google help pages, "relevance is how well a local listing matches what someone is searching for. Adding complete and detailed business information can help the search algorithm better understand your business and match you to relevant search results." With respect to distance, "just like it sounds—how far is each potential search result from the location term used in a search? If you don't specify a location in your search, Google will calculate distance based on what's known about your location." The third factor is prominence, which"describes how well-known a business is. Some places are more prominent in the offline world, and Google tries to reflect this in local ranking." Additionally, it is important to know that "Google review count and score are also factored into local search ranking—more reviews and positive ratings will improve a business's local ranking."

Google reviews are visible across the entire Google network, whether a consumer or business traveler is searching for a hotel from their desktop, tablet or mobile device. The Google review collection widget allows hotels to leave reviews directly on Google from a guest survey so that ratings and reviews are displayed in Google search results.

ReviewPro's market leading Guest Intelligence Suite, combined with the Google review collection widget, provides hoteliers with the best tools available to improve their positioning on Google and to drive direct traffic to their website. By implementing this widget, hotels can push reviews directly to Google, building their review volume and boosting their presence on the search giant. Together with the Google review collection widget, ReviewPro clients will benefit from actionable insight to increase guest satisfaction, rankings on Google and ultimately revenue.

RJ Friedlander

    More from RJ Friedlander

    About ReviewPro

    ReviewPro is the world leader of Guest Intelligence solutions, with more than 60,000 hotels in 150 countries. ReviewPro's Global Review Index™ (GRI), the industry-standard online reputation score, is based on review data collected from 175+ OTAs and review sites in 45+ languages. The company's cloud-based Guest Experience Improvement Suite includes Online Reputation Management, Guest Satisfaction Surveys, and Auto Case Management. ReviewPro also provides an AI-driven innovative Guest Experience Automation™ product to automate guest experience management for hotels. These tools and processes enable clients to prioritize operational and service improvements to deliver better guest experiences and increase guest satisfaction, online rankings, and revenue.

    About Shiji Group

    Shiji Group provides software solutions and services for the hospitality, food service, retail and entertainment industries, ranging from hotel management solutions to food and beverage and retail systems, payment gateways, data management, online distribution and more.

    Founded in 1998 as a network solutions provider for hotels, Shiji Group today comprises 4,000 employees in 80+ subsidiaries and brands, serving over 74,000 hotels, 200,000 restaurants, and 600,000 retail outlets.

    Shiji develops a network of cloud technology platforms that facilitate data exchange by connecting businesses vertically and horizontally across related industries. The importance of cross-industry integration to connect all levels of the supply chain, from guests to distributors and suppliers of all types is a critical part of our mission. Our goal is to facilitate the transition to fully integrated systems for our clients through a network of platforms that communicate securely and easily so our clients can focus on their core competencies of serving their guests.

    Roisin McGrath
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