The difference between Google Vacation Rentals and Google Business Listings

Welcome to Boostly Podcast Episode 556.

Mark Simpson, a business coach for short-term rental hosts, discusses the main differences between Google Business Listings and Google Vacation Rentals in a video.

According to Simpson, Google is actively looking to move all hosts who list their businesses as short-term rentals on Google Business off the platform.

As such, Simpson advises short-term and medium-term rental hosts to pivot to Google Vacation Rentals as soon as possible, warning that listings are being taken down without reason.

Simpson explains that Google wants to have only hotels and bed and breakfasts listed on Google Maps and is attempting to get a piece of the pie by tapping into the revenue generated by booking.com, Airbnb, and Expedia.

Simpson stresses that for hosts running bed and breakfasts or small hotels, nothing needs to change. However, hosts running short-term rental businesses need to pivot to Google Vacation Rentals soon, and he offers guidance on how to make the transition.

Here's the video for this episode:

Timestamps (audio)

00:00 – Intro
03:19 – What google is trying to do
07:42 – They do want a piece of the pie
11:23 – Google is really trying to go all in on direct booking
15:03 – Outro

Whilst you’re here

Follow Boostly on the following channels to get more tips, tactics and knowledge on how you can increase your direct bookings

Visual – YouTube

Audio – Boostly Podcast




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Transcript from the Episode

[00:00:00] Mark: This video is for you if you are running a short term rental business or medium term rental business, who's trying to advertise and promote your business as a Google business listing. In this video, I am going to walk you through the main differences between a Google business listing. Google Vacation Rentals and how if you are listed as a short term rental business on Google Business listings, you need to pivot over to Google Vacation rentals as soon as possible.

[00:00:27] Google are actively looking in 2023, moving into 2024 through moving all hosts who are listing their business as a short-term rental on Google business. Off the platform. It's already started. Listings are getting taken down without any rhyme or reason, and this is how to prevent it. And this is how to sort it to move forward into the new style of advertising on Google.

[00:00:50] My name is Mark Simpson and I give hosts all over the world. The tools, the tactics to train, and the confidence for you to get more diary bookings and to cut down on Airbnb, [00:01:00] booking.com and vrbo and Google is a fantastic way of doing so . All you have to do is go back to the Boley back catalog and watch the videos on bid, on brand, um, and how you can make your Google Business listen as good as possible.

[00:01:12] Now, if you're a bed and breakfast, you're fine. Bed and breakfast small hotels keep doing what you're doing. This video is for you if you are running a short term rental business or medium term rental business, who is trying to advertise and promote your business as a Google business. Now for some of you, this will not be a short term thing.

[00:01:30] This may not affect you until the back end of this year. For some of you, you have to act fast for a lot of people who are trying to get listed but can't. This video is for you as well. I'm gonna share my screen and I'm gonna walk you through exactly what you need to look for, how you need to pivot, and how you need to change it.

[00:01:47] But most importantly, I wanna walk you through what each one, ah. So let me just share my screen. So, uh, we're gonna go straight into a Google map. Now, this is a [00:02:00] Google map as we know it. So for anybody that is on their phone or on their computer, and they are, um, looking at a Google map, what you'll notice at the present moment in time is you've got these little bed icons.

[00:02:14] Now these bed icons, they are Google business listings that are being listed as a place to stay. Anything with a car over then that's obviously a rental company. Anything with a shop over that's a shopping center and you can easily identify the, the, the different ones. So if somebody comes into, uh, this location, which is in Spain, And is looking for, um, a place to stay.

[00:02:38] If it could be on the phone, it could have arrived in the town. They need a place to stay. If they could be just looking for general to see who's there, to see what's about, then this is what they see at the moment. Now what Google want to do is they only want to have hotels, bed and breakfasts, um, those sort of places.

[00:02:55] Come up on this map. Okay, that's important. They wanna have hotels, bed and breakfasts. [00:03:00] They don't want to have short-term rental properties. If you look at the Ts and Cs behind Google, they say, to be on here, you need to have a front desk. So a place where somebody can check in. Now short-term rental businesses, cottages, glimpse sites, et cetera, you've been able to basically get around this for years and Google novice.

[00:03:19] But what Google is trying to do next is they're trying to get a piece of the pie when it comes to booking.com revenue, Airbnb revenue, and Expedia revenue. Because they know that so many people go from Google to the OTA platform because they charge the OTAs a lot of money for advertisements. So let me just quickly run a search.

[00:03:38] If I type in hotels in York as an as an example, what will come up at the top is all of these ad spots. So you've got an ad add, adva, Advair, uh, ignore all of this on the right hand side, but if I zoom in on the screen, what you'll note is, Is you've got, uh, this, which is, this is basically, um, Google vacation [00:04:00] rentals, which is I'm gonna tap into and talk about in a second.

[00:04:03] And then you've got the organics here. So Google make a ton of money. A lot of money. We're talking millions in charge, him booking.com, and all of these places to come up when somebody types in a very generic keyword term in their, in their search results. So for example, um, if you type in places to stay, In York.

[00:04:24] Again, those, these key tags and these keywords are very, very, very popular. So they're gonna be charging stay central, they're gonna be charging, um, all of these that has an adex from a lot of money to be there. Now, at the same time, they also know that people are using their new platform and their new portfolio, which is, um, Google Vacation Rental.

[00:04:45] Now let me just quickly show you what that looks on a map. And this is, this is this. So as you can see at the top, google.com travel, so Google Vacation Rental. Now this is where people can go and do flights. This is where people can go, things to do [00:05:00] hotels, explore, et cetera, et cetera. So if I bring it in here, And this is gonna be the new style of what they want everybody to, to move towards.

[00:05:08] This is what I mean by Google Vacation Rental. So if I, um, come and hover over these properties down here, you'll see that they've got a, a house, which is a home, which is holiday rentals. And, um, you can see how you can click on them. So if I click on this one here, it takes me to the Google Vacation rental page.

[00:05:26] You've got the images on the top, prices, reviews, location. Et cetera. And all of this information is simply being pulled from a, a, a specific place. Now, the user doesn't get the chance to edit this yet. This is the next step and the next phase that's coming. But at the moment, it's pulling it from specific places, and I'll show you where those specific places are in a second.

[00:05:49] But as you can see, what it's doing right now is it's acting like, uh, travago. It's acting like a meta search where it is searching the internet and it's finding out where the best rate. [00:06:00] Now, as you can see here, the only option that is showing at present is their official website where they can book direct.

[00:06:08] Okay. And this is, and I, again, I'll walk you through that in a second, but what Google wants to do is it wants to pivot every, um, short-term rental, every non-hotel, non bed and breakfast to here. So it'll have a very clear holiday market and it'll have a very clear holiday rentals. Now this is fantastic exposure.

[00:06:32] It's what every one of us should be looking to to be visible in, because as we know on the guest booking process, people start at Google and then they go down the filters and the funnels. So you need to be on here. Now, the problem at the present moment in time, and I'm recording this early 2023, the only place and the only way to get listed on there for your direct book in site is via your property management software tool, otherwise known as PMs.[00:07:00]

[00:07:00] Ane at the present moment of recording, which is early 2023, are the only PMs providers that are currently listing on there. I've highlighted the Boley partners. These are the ones. Partner with for our website. So if you are with Reynolds United Uplifting Logy, Avivo and Beds 24, then you will then in turn be synced into your PMs from your Boosty site, where you'll then be listed on Google, so you don't have to worry yet.

[00:07:23] For everybody else who's currently not on this, they are actively in 2023 looking to add in more. So whoever your PMs is, keep pestering them because then you can get visible. Now the next step, once they've done this, is to be able to give everybody the opportunity to list on that because Google are really making a big, big, big play on Airbnb, booking.com.

[00:07:46] They do want a piece of the pie. Now, they've been talking about this for a long time, and this is the problem with a company as big as Google is that they can't just make a decision, flick it and it works. They have to slowly build this into what they've currently got in. [00:08:00] And so this is what's currently happening at the moment, but when it does, you'll be able to log into your own Google vacation rental page and to be able to make amendments.

[00:08:13] Now, if I just quickly log over to our, um, login, as you can see here with a G Google Business Listing, you can log in right now and you can come in and you can add your business, add your property, and from the back of that, you can also manage. What you see is visible. So once you've got something that is visible, you can then go in, you can add pitches, you can update the news, uh, you can share new things.

[00:08:39] You can send people to there to leave reviews. Okay. Because one of the biggest pain points that we have as short-term rental hosts is that. It used to be TripAdvisor. So if you were to send your guests somewhere online to leave a review, it used to be TripAdvisor, but now TripAdvisor isn't really a thing anymore, and so [00:09:00] you then start sending people to X, Y, or Z.

[00:09:02] The big advice at the moment is to send people to Google, but if you're gonna send them to a Google business listing, then what's going to happen? Is there, is those reviews going to go? Is it going to disappear? No. What will happen is that everything will get moved over to Google vacation. I would still right now send people to leave reviews on your Google Business listing if you have one.

[00:09:22] If it is verified and if is a big word, because as you will know on the platform, we've had so many people that have tried to register who then get a verification code, which says here, verification requested. But what happens is that, These verifications are going through the Google system and they're going, well, this is not a short-term rental.

[00:09:43] This is not a, sorry, a bed and breakfast. This is not a hotel. This is a short-term rental. We're gonna, uh, not verify it. Or worse does businesses that have been verified. That all of a sudden are getting taken off the platform. And the reason beam is that um, bots are going around and the AI's [00:10:00] going around and all of that cool stuff is going around Google and they're trying to take 'em off the platform.

[00:10:04] They're trying to unify and remove them. Now, if you are got a Google Business listing, please do keep having people leave reviews because it does make it stand out. Now, if I had come back to my Google map, And I, um, highlight Casa um, Coban. They've got Casaa Christabel and Casaa Annabel. They've got 28 reviews and this looks lovely.

[00:10:25] Now these will eventually get pivoted and moved over to the Google Vacation rental listing. Uh, but at the present moment in time, you need to have reviews. So, This is why it's important. So if you've got a business on Google, a business listing and somebody's looking for a place to stay, the more your reviews you get on this, the more new content you have on it.

[00:10:44] It's like any other algorithm. It'll bump and be visible to, to more when people are looking on this. And millions of people do look at this, so don't, um, don't rule it out. Now this is becoming so powerful and so popular, as you can see here, booking.com or even trying to [00:11:00] advertise on the page, on the page here.

[00:11:01] This is why what Google wants you to do now is pivot over to their new model, which is going to be the way that we move forward with Google Travel, okay? And what you will notice is that booking.com will get into here. Uh, you'll also notice Airbnb and TripAdvisor, wherever you list your business, Expedia, vrbo, et cetera.

[00:11:18] We'll try and get into here and they will try and take your business. , but Google is really trying to go all in on direct bookings. Um, they're trying to go all in to make sure that, um, people are going to your website and not the OTAs, which is really encouraging to see, which is why they're put in official site.

[00:11:37] Again, I truly believe that one of the reasons why Ho Stamp Booking, oh, sorry, guest Sam booking with you directly is because they just don't realize that they can, they feel like the only way that they can book review is Airbnb, which is probably our fault, because if you've ever called yourself an Airbnb business or say you can book at my Airbnb, You are literally branding them every step of the way.

[00:11:58] So if we can just all as a [00:12:00] collective, stop calling ourselves Airbnb businesses, that'd be a good little place to start. But obviously then start pointing them to your own dire booking website where a guest can make that booking. So if I click here, I will then go in, turn to um, this property's DI direct site at Cozy Spaces and I'll be able to book directly on there cause it links into their PMs, which is up uplifting, which is one of the PMs providers that are current.

[00:12:25] Working with Google. So how do you get your name down? How can you potentially do this? Well, number one, you either join one of these property management softwares that you can see here, or you go to this, which is the Google, uh, vacation rental form. So what you need to do, I've even turned this into a a, a pretty link.

[00:12:44] So it's easy for you to understand if you just go to Bruce Lee dot code uk slash Google Vacation Rentals with an. It will divert you to this form. It, it's a lot of blurb. It's a lot of nonsense to be [00:13:00] honest. But if you go to the Google's vacation rental interest form, you click on there, it'll take you through to the next stage where you can fill out your details and you can say, Hey, I am ready to get listed on goo Google vacation rental.

[00:13:13] Because what's going to happen next is that when you log into your Google business, They'll have a separate section for travel and for holiday rentals where you can come in here and you can update pitches. You'll be able to update the text cuz at the moment this information is coming straight from up, uplifting.

[00:13:32] Now what we need to do, as you can see, the pictures don't look the best. They don't match. They look better on obviously Airbnb or booking.com or one of our channel partners, but it doesn't look the best on Google. So we need to amend. We need to be able to update the information and we need to make sure that everything is, is correct in there, and that will be the next.

[00:13:52] It's exciting, um, but obviously as well at the same time, you need to make sure that you're ahead of the game. So make sure that you're following boley, follow this [00:14:00] YouTube channel. Um, I've got some really good contacts can, that can guide us when it comes to Google. Um, I've got a very good, uh, contact within Google who wants to work with Boley members who wants to diet, booking, sort of motto and, uh, mantra to be spread around.

[00:14:13] So make sure that you do tap into the Boley YouTube channel. boley.com UK slash YouTube. Makes sure you like it. Makes sure you subscribe and turn out a notification bell. And as soon as I get more information, I will let you know. The first people to find out, as always, will be the Boley members. So if you want to come and join boley, we've got two packages.

[00:14:30] If you're between one and six properties, you can come and join on our light package if you want to. If you've got more than seven properties, you can come and join as part of our PRO package. Every single one of them comes with the tools, the tactics, the training, but most importantly, the confidence that you need.

[00:14:43] To increase your direct bookings, it'll get you a website that you can be proud of. It gives you all of the social media content you'll ever need. Email templates that you can literally put into practice now, that will boost your direct bookings and to convert lookers into bookers, but also as well, it jammed with direct training that you [00:15:00] can implement that you need to help with most into your business.

[00:15:03] So with that being said, thank you for tuning. , thank you for watching this episode of the Boostly Podcast. If this is the first time that you've discovered us, then you've got a lot of episodes to go back on. We've got over 500 with interviews from other hosts, delving into the tools that they're using, but also interviews with some of the biggest people in this industry and sharing their knowledge to pass on to you on how you can increase your data buckets.

[00:15:25] So we're. Without more being said . Thanks for tuning in. Be proactive. Don't be reactive and let's go and get some direct bookings. Having a blast. Gonna get it on the Bruce Lee podcast. Bruce Lee. Let Bruce Lee cuz it's so hard on the tees loose leaf, making up those rhymes. Don't write it, just do it loosely.

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