Google Vacation Rentals is part of Google’s suite of travel search products, designed to help travellers easily find and book accommodation through the search engine. 

Getting your properties listed on Google means you can tap into a vast pool of potential guests who use Google to research, plan, and book vacations. Bookings from Google can also be completely commission-free.

In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about how Google Vacation Rentals works, its benefits, and how to list your properties.

What is Google Vacation Rentals?

Google Vacation Rentals is an extension of the Google Travel platform, a trip planner service that allows users to search and book flights, accommodation, and more.

The vacation rental platform helps searchers discover vacation rentals that match their preferences. 

For example, short-term rental property listings will appear in the results if you search for vacation rentals or accommodation in a specific area. You can easily click on the listings to learn more and book. 

There are three ways people can view and book vacation rentals on Google:

1. Google Search

On the regular Google Search home page, travellers can type in a query such as “vacation rental in Tuscany” or “accommodation in Porto.” 

In addition to the usual search results, a separate widget will appear showing vacation rental properties that match the query. 

Click on these properties to go to their websites or listings for more information and to make a booking. 

2. Google Maps

If someone searches for a vacation rental-related term in Google Maps, they’ll be shown a map of the relevant area. Pins indicating vacation rentals will appear on the map, giving the approximate location of the property and nightly rate. 

People can click on the pins to bring up more information in the right-hand sidebar, with links to follow to book. 

3. Google Travel 

Finally, travellers can visit to browse all travel options and type requests in the search bar.

They can do a generic search or go to the vacation rentals tab to search specifically for short-term rental properties. 

Google Travel is compatible with other devices like mobile and tablets.

Related: Looking for other listing sites? Check out this blog.

How does Google Vacation Rentals work?

Google is not an OTA, so the search engine doesn’t actually play a role in processing bookings. It simply directs traffic to your own website or landing page. If you don’t have a website, it can also send searchers to your listing on a compatible OTA.

The benefits of listing vacation rentals on Google Travel

There are many reasons to get your properties on Google’s dedicated vacation rental platform. 

For example:

  • More exposure — Listing your properties on Google will increase your visibility and allow many more travellers to find and book your properties. 
  • Target a qualified audience — You’ll reach people using Google with the intent of planning, comparing, and booking trips.
  • Commission-free bookings — Google doesn’t take a commission for bookings made through the platform, so you can potentially get commission-free bookings. 
  • Build guest trust — When people see your properties on Google this will build trust with potential guests and let them know your business is genuine.
  • Brand recognition — You’ll have an opportunity to promote your independent vacation rental brand and tap into new sources of traffic.
  • Improved guest experience — You’ll own the guest relationship, from processing payments to dealing with communication and more.

How can you get listed on Google?

It’s important to note that Google Vacation Rentals is separate from Google My Business and you should create a Google vacation rental listing in addition to your business page.

There are three different ways to get your property listed on Google:

  1. Through an OTA — You can connect your listing on a partner OTA, such as Trip Advisor, to your Google Vacation Rentals, then anyone clicking on your property will be directed to your listing on that site. The downside of this is that while Google doesn’t take additional commission, you’ll still have to pay the OTA fee or commission for all bookings coming through Google.
  2. With a direct integration — You can build a direct integration with Google, but this is only possible for property managers with 5000+ properties and may be a highly complicated process.
  3. Via a connectivity partner like Rentals United —  If you use Rentals United to connect your listing to Google, you can use your own logo and branding, and your listing can go straight to your website, meaning you won’t pay any commission or fees. 

The third option is convenient and beneficial for most property managers. You can connect easily and start getting bookings through Google without paying any extra commission or fees. Guests will also benefit from a better price as they won’t have to pay OTA booking fees. 

How to get listed on Google Vacation Rentals with Rentals United

Rentals United is one of the few vacation rental channel managers Google has chosen to work with, and our integration means you can send traffic from Google directly to your website.

Your logo will appear in the Google Vacation Rental search results and the Google listing details page. When a potential guest clicks the ‘Visit site’ button, they’ll be redirected to the property page on your website, where they can complete the booking process or get in touch with your team.

Since the traffic goes directly to your website, you can use acquisition strategies, such as presenting similar listings, newsletter signups, and remarketing, to help you get more bookings.

With the Rentals United connection, the traffic from Google comes at no additional cost per click.

Create your vacation rental website

To list your properties through Rentals United, you first need a professional website where guests can browse and book. 

Using Rentals United’s My Website tool, you can easily set up a website in minutes. The website builder puts all your listing content into a fully secure, customizable website where guests can book and pay directly. 

How to maximise bookings from Google Travel

After getting your listings on Google Travel, it’s important to give yourself the best chance of ranking well in search and attracting more guests. 

There are a few things you can do to boost your performance:

  • Website SEO — Improve your website’s SEO so your vacation rental site is more likely to appear in relevant searches. This might involve creating content like blog posts and including specific keywords relevant to your property that guests might be interested in.
  • Domain authority — Backlinks and references from other sites will make Google view your site as more trustworthy and more likely to rank higher. You can get this from doing interviews, partnering with local businesses and promoting each other, or writing blogs for other sites.
  • Detailed descriptions — Make sure your property descriptions are detailed and provide as much information as possible. This helps with SEO and means people will be more interested in your properties when they appear on Google.
  • Improve your reviews — Like OTAs, Google values good customer reviews and may use review scores to determine where your listings rank. You can use a tool like Rentals United’s Elevate  to get AI-powered insights about property performance and fix the most urgent issues so you can boost review scores quickly.

Get listed on the world’s most popular search engine

There’s no reason to miss out on getting your properties listed on Google’s dedicated vacation rental platform. 

You’ll get exposure to a vast audience of travellers using the search engine to plan and book vacations – and you can get listed for free without paying any commission or fees on bookings!

The simplest way to list is through Rentals United, one of Google’s connected partners. When you list through Rentals United, your content will be synced, and your Google listings can direct potential guests to your custom website.

With Rentals United, you can seamlessly list your properties on 50+ major and specialist channels, including Google Vacation Rentals.

Book a demo to see how to increase bookings and revenue through Rentals United. 

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in July 2019 and has been updated for accuracy, depth and comprehensiveness.