If you are in the travel industry, Google has removed rich snippets from a variety of travel websites and are no longer showing pricing information for more generic search queries. John Mueller confirmed in yesterday’s hangout that flights are no longer showing pricing rich snippets. We have also noticed hotels are no longer showing pricing rich snippets as well.
It sounds as though this was an industry-wide issue, not just a single site doing it. The person who asked the question in the hangout mentioned multiple major price comparison travel sites and none of them are showing pricing rich snippets now.
The problem was that travel sites were showing pricing prices for multiple products as if it was only one. But with multiple departure airports and prices for dates often varying wildly, it isn’t surprising that Google targeted this. While it is hard to see with the snippets already removed, it could be that sites were using the lowest possible price which might not reflect what the searcher was looking for, which of course would lead to negative search experience.
Here is what John said specifically about it:
I double checked about this just before the hangout actually. And we didn’t actually change anything specific there. What we did notice is that a bunch of sites were using this as a way to kind of markup a variety of products instead of just one product. So we essentially hope that the price markup on a page is specific to one specific product and you are talking about a page like flights to Berlin, then that’s like tons of different products essentially, like different flights and from different locations going to Berlin, so it is very hard to say well, it makes sense to mark that up with the price rich snippets and to show that in the search results because it is essentially all different kinds of products on the same page.
So that is kind of what the team took action on there. We noticed that these pages were marking up multiple different types of products in a way that you would for one product specifically. So that’s, I think from what I heard from the team, that’s kind of what changed there. And it’s not so much that we changed our guidelines it’s just that we noticed it was a problem, someone reported it or somehow the word got to the rich snippets team and they said well we have to take action here to make sure what we show in the search results matches what’s in our guidelines.
The person in the hangout then asked whether action would be taken against sites doing the same thing for “Hotels in Berlin”, but it seems like that has already been targeted and removed by the rich snippets team.
Bing is also not showing pricing rich snippets for flights or hotels in their search results.
It isn’t clear if sites also received a rich snippet manual action related to these snippet removals, although John does say that these sites likely did. If they did, Google will normally remove all rich snippets from the site until a successful reconsideration request is filed. But since the person in the hangout noted they had been removed a week ago, it sounds as though there might not have been manual actions issued.
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