Last year, Google issued some updates that made it easier to track down flight and hotel deals and it has recently been testing an option that would bring up vacation rentals when users search for hotels. The new feature shows up under the "Accommodation Type" category alongside other filter options like price, amenities and rating. According to Skift, which counted around 7,000 such listings in its searches, Google is testing the feature out in multiple markets.
To be clear, the vacation rentals are not related to Airbnb, but are similar in concept and include listings like apartments and condos. As of now, the number of vacation rentals that show up in the Google searches don't compare to those offered by Airbnb in the same market, but listings from major sites, such as Booking.com and Hotels.com, are showing up in the search results.
Skift reports that there are three major shortcomings to the searches presently. The vacation rental filter options aren't quite up to snuff yet and are much less detailed than those provided by Airbnb. And the listings are also lacking in text descriptions, photos and reviews, which could limit users' confidence in the listings. But the CEO of Koddi, a marketing tech vendor, told Skift, "These are all data and engineering problems and commercial partnership issues, and Google is in a great position to solve them if the tests show that there's consumer demand." And, ultimately, this function is still in testing mode. So, if and when Google decides to make it official, it's sure to get the user-focused treatment flight and hotel searches have gotten in the past.