Lodging Interactive Advises: What Google +1 Means For Hotels

Clearly Google+1 is a direct ‘across the bow’ shot at Facebook.  While Google+1 might seem similar to Facebook’s Like button, it is a stronger power of influence when it comes to validating the popularity and authenticity of a website.

It should not be news to anyone at this time that the search engines have been quietly incorporating “social signals” into their search engine algorithms.  Algorithms are mathematical computations which help the search engines to determine where your hotel website listing will appear on a search results page.  Starting this week, if you are logged into your Google account, you can expect to see Google+1 buttons in your Google search results pages.  When a user clicks +1, they’re declaring their affinity for a particular search result, which Google is considering as ‘human vote of confidence.”  In the near future you will also see the Google+1 buttons on websites across the web, much like Facebook’s Open Graph and their Like button.

Google +1

 

So here is the a-ha moment for hotels; Google has found a way to make us all become influencers of relevancy and as we +1 our way throughout the web, we will be shaping and helping to determine which website will be listed on a results page…and which one’s won’t.

We believe Google+1 is superior to Facebook’s Like button because in order to +1, you have to create a publicly accessible user profile.  This will make it difficult for companies to game the system by creating fake profiles.  While Facebook is closing in on 700,000 million users, we all know people who have multiple profiles as well as zoo animals who have their own profile pages.

So what does this all mean for hoteliers?  Clearly hotel search engine listings, organic and paid, will increasingly be influenced by Likes and +1’s.  Does your hotel have a strategy to ensure consumers +1 your search engine listings on Google when presented with the opportunity? If your website ranks well on Google now, are you prepared for the loss of rank position when your competitors have more +1’s than your hotel has?  Hoteliers should no longer think as marketers do, but rather think as publishers do.  Only relevant, informative not overly promotional content will encourage consumers to +1 your website.  Gone are the days of simply providing ‘marketing speak’ to get attention, now and in the future it will be all about providing valuable content.

For more information about Google+1 you can visit the Google+1 website:  http://www.google.com/+1/button/

Hotels Turn to Social Media to Connect With Travelers

"Hotels have begun offering direct bookings through Facebook and smartphone apps, and they hope that the convenience and direct contact will lure back travelers who have been turning to online travel agencies."

Read the full article at www.nytimes.com

Google, TripAdvisor redefine roles in distribution

"Although the most recent changes to the distribution landscape might not directly affect day-to-day operations today, experts say hoteliers should pay close attention as major players in the space are making moves that could shape the future."

Read the full article at www.hospitalitynet.org

Mobile in travel ‘happening fast’ says Google

"Latest data from Google has indicated that the rise of mobile for travel web browsing is happening now and is happening fast. Revealing figures at the latest Travolution Editorial Advisory Board meeting this week Robin Frewer, the search engines director for travel, said it was seeing “huge growth” from mobile."

Read the whole article at www.hotelmarketing.com

YouTube Expands Search Options With Filter & Explore

"YouTube has rearranged and updated its search options with a new feature called Filter & Explore.

When you perform a search in YouTube, instead of getting the usual array of options below the search box, you’ll be greeted with a single Filter & Explore option (or only Filter, if YouTube doesn’t have enough data to offer the additional Explore links). Click on it, and you’ll be offered a number of filters that you can apply to make your search more precise."

Read the full article at www.mashable.com

How Baby Boomers Are Embracing Digital Media

'This year, some of the nearly 80 million Baby Boomers in the United States have turned 65 and are now “officially” senior citizens. Need context? Vint Cerf, Google’s chief Internet evangelist and one of the fathers of the Internet, turns 68 in June. The web, often viewed as a realm for just the young, is getting older.

The Boomer generation isn’t just big — it’s made up of people who think and act differently than previous generations. As Boomers confront “old age,” they will certainly defy what we think it means to “get old.” It will challenge us to rethink how we use the web and how we engage older people with newer technologies."

Full article at www.mashable.com

How to manage your hotel’s online reputation

"Everyone’s got an image to protect. As the hotel industry becomes increasingly subjected to the world of customer reviews, hoteliers have developed a term for protecting that image – it’s called “managing your online reputation.”

Read more at www.hotelmarketing.com

Meet +1: Google’s Answer To The Facebook Like Button

"Nearly a year after Facebook Like buttons spread out across the web, Google has announced its own rival, the +1 button. It launches today as part of Google’s search engine, allowing you to “+1″ the search results and ads that you like. And in a few months, it’ll be arriving at a web site near you."

Read the complete article at www.searchengineland.com