Alternatives to Google’s CPA bidding model for hotels

As Google kills metasearch commission models, hotels now face a critical decision regarding their digital marketing strategy

Feb 13, 2024

In a move that is set to reshape the metasearch landscape, Google has announced the removal of commission-based bidding models. This shift will come into effect in April 2024 for new campaigns and October 2024 for existing campaigns. It removes a staple of the hotel industry’s digital marketing tools. Here are the primary alternatives.

Key takeaways

  • CPC-based bidding: This traditional model means up front ad spend. Hotels can manually bid or use Google’s new target ROAS, which is easier to manage but requires understanding and tracking cancellation rates to truly understand costs;
  • Performance Max for Travel Goals: This is a multi-channel advertising format that includes Google Hotel Ads. It provides a broader reach across Google’s channels. In its out-the-box format, it means upfront ad spend and reduced visibility/control over specific channel performance;
  • Work with a provider offering a commission model: Some providers are still able to offer commission-based billing models, which means hotels can retain their minimal risk metasearch strategy with no upfront ad spend;
  • Stop doing paid metasearch: Unlike paid ads, free booking links don't incur costs when potential customers click on them. This option relies on free booking links which ensures you still have limited presence which will also limit performance.

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