As most hotel marketers know, search never stays the same for very long. Google takes over 200 factors into account when crawling, indexing, and ranking sites on the web and rolls out around 500 refreshes and updates to their search algorithms each year. In such a dynamic arena, the best advice for hoteliers who want to rank #1 is to “mind what matters.” Staying abreast of the updates that specifically impact hotel websites is the first step hoteliers can take on the SEO stairway to higher rankings. For hotels, two of Google’s most recent updates certainly do have an impact on where, exactly, your site will end up in the search results. One update makes it easier for searchers to find hotels by displaying business listings more prominently, while the other helps hotels find searchers by improving the accuracy of geo-targeted AdWords campaigns. The best news for hoteliers is that both updates make Google feel less like a game of roulette, and more like a conversation with your five-star concierge. Changes to Google Hotel Finder and Local Carousel Results Google recently made some big changes to the way hotels are displayed on search results pages. For starters, Google’s Hotel Finder commercial unit no longer appears on results pages for search queries like “NYC Hotels.” In addition, the local “carousel” results that appeared at the top of the results page for such queries has also disappeared. Instead, queries like “NYC Hotels” now produce a “3-pack” module that displays three organically-ranked hotel listings. Users can click on one of these results for a full business detail view, or expand the module to quickly navigate to a more comprehensive list of relevant listings. Get the full story at HeBS digital