Google Maps has always been a powerful travel tool, and the newest version makes things even better. It’s no secret that location is one of the most important factors people consider when booking a hotel, and with the recent update to Google Maps, travelers can do more than just view where a property is in relation to popular tourist destinations.
When travelers begin planning their trips they turn to the internet, which is why it is important for hotels to have engaging content on their website. When using Google, one of the first options they are presented with is Google Maps. Google Maps has always presented travelers with a unique set of tools to inform them of everything their destination has to offer. Previously when using Google Maps to search for phrases like “Disneyland Hotels” travelers were presented with the the familiar map, its red pins and some basic information about each property in the area. With the New Google Maps, travelers are presented with more comprehensive search results and the ability to refine what they are looking for, without starting over.
The feature that will probably have the biggest impact on hotels is the ability for Travelers to filter searches by Top Reviewers: highly active and influential users on Zagat and Google+. Travelers can even sort by their personal Google+ Circles to see what their friends have been saying about the area. At this level, hotels that are poorly reviewed are completely removed from the search results, well before price and proximity come into consideration.
Increasing your Google+ activity has never been more important with the implementation of these new search options. Travelers gravitate towards properties that have a current and active social presence. These reviews provide the most up-to-date impressions on a property and as Google continues to increase their already sizable 300+ million active Google+ users, each review will reach a wider audience of potential hotel guests.