“Hotel Finder is Alive!” or “Who Stole My Natural Results?”

Finally, Google’s Hotel Finder is being inserted into results. I know what you’re thinking, “Hooray!” or “Who cares, its just another map tool” or even “Why do you keep writing things in quotes”…

All valid comments.

Personally, I think its a cool tool. The search function with Hotel Finder is pretty slick. Being able to search for a specific area within the map is cool. But I’m not so much concerned with Hotel Finder as a tool, but Hotel Finder as a result in search.

The real issue I have with this is not so much with Hotel Finder itself (though the fact that the OTA’s are given yet another place to stick their prices and links is troubling to me). My big issue at this point is with the clutter that exists on the results page because of it.

When performing a broad search for hotels, the results page is so weighted down with “Google” that you can’t even see results for your search. In the example image, notice how much of the page is covered with paid ads and Google Places (maps results)…. all items that on-page website SEO has NO impact on.

Hotel Results Page in Google

Ads, Places and Hotel Finder - Oh My!

So while on-page keywording and link-building is our day-to-day focus here for our hotels, buying an ad on Google and placement on their map are what fill the search pages.

I don’t usually have issues with Google’s results pages as a user, I can easily avoid the paid results and find what I’m looking for by scrolling through the page and subsequent pages.

What worries me is the inevitable day when there are no pages to click, just various Google Apps filling the web. Maybe its just me.

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