The Benefits of Using Google Free Booking Links for Your Property
google booking links and innroad integration
Booking a stay at your hotel should be as easy as possible. With Google’s Free Hotel Booking links, potential guests can book a room right from their web search results—and best of all, it’s totally free for hotel owners.

We’ve all been there—searching for a hotel online, a dozen tabs open in our internet browser as we comb through rates, room types, and availability, hoping that there’s a room available at the right price when we need it. In 2024, finding a hotel room shouldn’t be so hard.

Google’s Free Booking Links aim to make the hotel booking process easier for guests and for hotel owners. If your small hotel isn’t already taking advantage of these totally free links, you’re missing out on direct bookings, more revenue, and OTA commissions. (Okay, you probably don’t mind missing out on that last one.)

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at Google’s Free Booking Links, including:

  1. What are Google Free Booking Links?
  2. How do Google Free Booking Links work?
  3. Who Is Eligible for Free Booking Links?
  4. Free Booking Links vs. Hotel Ads
  5. innRoad’s Google Free Booking Links integration tools

Let’s check in!

1. What are Google Free Booking Links?

With Google Free Booking Links, your hotel’s booking site will appear across Google when users search for hotels, including on Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Hotels.

Free Booking Links allow searchers to make a booking directly through whichever Google platform they are using. When they click the link to book, Google will bring them straight to your online booking portal, creating a seamless user experience that makes it as easy as possible for potential customers to book a stay.


2. How do Google Free Booking Links work?

When guests search for a hotel stay on Google, your property will appear in the search results, along with a link to your booking portal and other important information about your hotel, including:

  • Your hotel name
  • Room rates for the selected dates
  • An official site badge

If a guest clicks the booking link, they will be taken directly to your website booking engine to view available rooms and rates. From there, they can complete their booking right on your site—no OTAs involved. You’ll even be able to tell which bookings came from Google Booking links through the referral field in your booking engine.

Like all Google search results, where your hotel ranks in Free Booking Links is based on an algorithm. The algorithm bases your ranking on a variety of signals, which can include:

  • Consumer preferences
  • Value offered to the user
  • Landing page experience
  • The historical accuracy of prices provided to Google

3. Who Is Eligible for Free Booking Links?

If you’re an existing Google Hotel Center partner and you’re already participating in Hotel Ads, you’re automatically eligible for Free Booking Links. Any property with a bid in a hotel campaign, available rates, and a landing page is eligible at no cost, and your bids have no impact on your Free Booking Link rankings.

If you’re a new hotel and booking partner looking to set up Free Booking Links for the first time, there are two eligibility requirements you’ll need to meet:

You must be a Hotel property

“Hotel” properties include inns, hotels, bed and breakfasts, motels, resorts, farm stays and other types of hotel properties. Vacation homes and short-term rentals are not considered Hotel properties.

Your property is eligible for Google Booking Links if:

  • The property has a front desk or on-site management
  • The property accepts overnight guests
  • The property and business address are listed publicly

Check the list of properties that Google considers Hotels here.

You must have a Google Business Profile

Your Google Business Profile controls the way your property appears on Google Search and Google Maps. When your Profile is complete, it will appear on Google Maps and Google Search, but without any room rates.

To share room rates and get Free Booking Links, you must connect your Google Business Profile to an approved integration partner, such as innRoad. The information in your Google Business Profile is used to map your property on Google to your property in innRoad (or your connection partner of choice). From there, your connection partner will share rates with Google. If you change your rates in your PMS, the updates will automatically sync with your Google Free Booking Links. You may be able to share rates without an approved integration partner, but this feature is only available to limited properties at this time.

You may already have a Google Business Profile set up for your hotel. If not, you can create a new Google Business Profile here, or request ownership of an existing Profile.

4. Free Booking Links vs. Hotel Ads

Confused about the difference between Free Booking Links and Hotel Ads? Here are the key differences:

  • Free Bookings Links are free listings in Google Hotel Search. They include a link to your website’s direct booking engine with an “official site” badge.
  • Hotel Ads also prominently display your official website on Google Hotel Search, with bookable rates and links for direct reservations, but you’ll pay for every click a user makes on these links.
Hotel Ads vs Free Booking Links

5. innRoad’s Google Free Booking Links integration tools

In most cases, you’ll need to work with an approved connection partner to participate in Google’s Free Booking Links program.

innRoad is an approved Google Free Booking Links connection partner. When you use our Booking Links integration, included with our channel manager add-on, our all-in-one property management system will connect directly with Free Booking Links. That means you’ll be able to distribute your property’s rates, availability, and inventory directly to Google Maps and Google Search, and potential guests can click your property’s official site link and complete their booking on your booking engine.

Checking Out

Google Free Booking Links are an invaluable solution for small hotel owners looking to capture more direct bookings. By eliminating the cumbersome task of navigating through multiple tabs to find the ideal room at the right price, Free Booking Links streamline the booking process for both guests and hotel owners.

For small hotel owners, the benefits are undeniable—more direct bookings, increased revenue, and fewer OTA commissions. With innRoad’s integration tools, small hotel owners can easily take advantage of the full potential of these free links. By integrating directly with Free Booking Links, innRoad’s high-converting booking engine will help you create a seamless and pain-free set-up and booking process.

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