You may have heard that Google is developing a new, AI-powered search experience.
NB: This is an article from Travelboom
The new search experience, which Google has dubbed the Search Generative Experience (SGE), incorporates AI capabilities and conversational functionality into the Google search results.
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But will this be the doom of Google search and SEO for hotels as we know it?
After receiving access to Google SGE beta and doing some quick testing/searching, my initial reaction is no.
Let’s take a look at what’s new with Google SGE.
- Hotel local pack expansion
- SGE hotel search results don’t always match normal Google search results
- Featured snippets still serve alongside SGE
- People also ask queries still serve alongside SGE
- Navigational searches may not be as affected by SGE
- SGE always pulls multiple sources for its information and those sources sometimes feel like an odd choice
- Fewer paid search ads and Google hotel ads
Hotel local pack expansion
Hoteliers should already be familiar with Google’s three-pack. But with SGE comes what looks to be an expansion to the typical three-pack. For the search “myrtle beach hotels with indoor pool”, SGE returns a five-pack. Yes, a five-pack.
Similar to the three-pack, each option listed includes the name of the hotel, star rating and review count, amenity icons, pricing, and a map.
Each listing also includes a short snippet of text briefly describing the hotel. Image link cards are also present in the upper right corner that link to SGE’s information sources. The sources are a mix of OTAs, online publishers, and the hotels’ official websites.
After clicking on a property, whether in the listing to the left or via a pin in the map, the property’s Google Business Profile appears with all the information you would expect from a hotel Google profile.
Under the GHA section of the listings, sponsored ads were noticeably absent from all properties and only organic links (All options) were present. This could just be Google continuing to experiment with how to incorporate hotel price ads with SGE.
What’s also interesting is that while Google includes the five-pack in the Search Generative Experience space it also keeps the three-pack we’re all accustomed to in the normal search space below SGE:
An Ask a follow up prompt is also present at the bottom of SGE. The question “do any of these hotels have water slides?” generated the following results:
This time, we were presented with a four-pack with similar features of the five-pack. Below the list, we could either ask another follow-up question or scroll to the normal Google search results for Do any of the hotels in Myrtle Beach with indoor pools have water slides. There was also a return to search button at the top left to return to the initial search.
Read rest of the article at Travelboom