Google tests hotel rates service on Google Maps

Google has begun testing a service that enables users of Google Maps to search for hotels and see price listings for subscribed establishments.

Google has begun testing a service that enables users of Google Maps to search for hotels and see price listings for subscribed establishments.

The move indicates that Google may be about to increase the revenue generation potential of the local business search facility.

When users search for hotels on Google Maps, they will be able to enter the dates they plan to stay and see prices on selected listings.

Users can click on the price to see a list of advertisers who have provided pricing information for that hotel, indicated by the "sponsored" text, and click through to reserve a room on the hotel site.

Google claims the feature will not change the way that hotels are ranked.

"Google Maps ranks business listings based on their relevance to the search terms entered, along with geographic distance and other factors, regardless of whether there is an associated price," said Andrew Silverman, product manger at Google.

The trial involves only a limited number of advertisers and will be visible only to a small portion of users, he said.

"We will evaluate the usefulness and effectiveness of this new feature based on both data and feedback, and hope to make it available to more users over time," said Silverman.

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