What level of influence, if any, do online reviews have upon a hotel’s Carousel ranking? To answer this question, digital marketing agency Digital Marketing Works designed a study to focus on reviews and to set aside the many other complex factors that inform Google search results (like semantic, visual, personal, and price factors). The research showed a very strong correlation between Carousel rank and average review rating and quantity. Across all market tiers and search terms, the correlational coefficient of those data sets was -0.76 (out of a best-possible -1.0). Translation: Earned media (online guest reviews) is now a major component of Google's search results for hotels. DMW suggest hotel marketers improve their hotel’s visibility via a review optimization program focused on more Google reviews. In addition to improved visibility, online ratings also improve demand (via increased click through rates that lead back to brand-owned booking pages). Extra note:: 90% of all hotels had 150 or fewer Google reviews. If you're looking for an arbitrary measure of success, breaking through the 150 threshold would be a great start. Get the full story at DMW