Booking Holdings' Agoda channel has its listing services for vacation rentals around the world with its all-in-one Google Travel page. Recently, though, the Booking Holdings' brand has announced that it has begun the process of removing its listings from the Google booking platform.
Booking Holdings’ flagship brand, Booking.com, had not been participating in Google’s vacation rental business, but Singapore-based Agoda has been listing its properties there for at least six months.
But three days after Google announced the introduction of a new vacation rental feature that directs users from Google Search to its Google Travel page, and a day after a recently published article debating whether holdout Airbnb should participate in Google vacation rentals, a Booking Holdings spokesperson said Agoda is in the process of withdrawing, and its listings should be gone shortly.
The spokesperson noted that Booking.com hadn’t been participating in Google vacation rentals, and characterized Agoda’s presence there as a test.
Google declined to comment for this story.
In a recent research note, Justin Patterson of Raymond James said Expedia Group would be the “biggest beneficiary” near-term from Google’s vacation rental business as Expedia brands on desktop had 67 percent share of listings in cities outside the United States, and a 74 percent share in U.S. cities.
To be clear, there are two ways that online travel agencies or short-term rental operators use Google for paid marketing. One is to advertise in Google Search, where a user would click on a link and then navigate to the online travel agency, or operator’s website to complete a booking.
The other way is to participate in Google’s travel page. Consumers can select a link on one of the listings in a four-pack stack of properties in Google Search, and navigate to vacation rentals in the Google travel page, where they will see a listing from Expedia.com, Vrbo, TripAdvisor, Hotels.com, Vacasa, Red Awning — or until now, Agoda — for that property.
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