Google has been adding more features to their hotels in the Google search results, most notably with the 3-pack of hotel listings directly within the search results that allow searchers to search availability and which lists pricing.
I noticed something unusual when doing a search. For some hotels, Google does not display a listed price for the hotel, but instead changed the price to a “visit website” link.
It is worth noting that for this example, there were more hotels than the three listed, including others that did have pricing displayed. So with was a decision on Google’s end to display “visit website” rather than a pricing despite there being more options available.
However, the link to “visit website” was grey, which is a departure from the usual blue we are used to seeing Google use for links.
The first thing I did when I noticed this hotel box with links was click through to the two priceless websites and ignored the listing with the price. But I am sure this is something Google is testing to see which option performs the best.
There is also another example that displays no pricing at all, but without an option to visit the website, again when there were more listings to expand.
And here is one of them expanded to show all three examples, the usual pricing, no price and “visit website.”
It is unclear if this is a test, a bug or simply a hotel that is refusing to supply rates information. While one would think that the lack of pricing would relegate those hotels to the expanded listings, it definitely isn’t the case. I am sure some hotel operators are considering the implications of this, and whether it might be better or worse to have “visit website” rather than rates displayed.
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