Earlier this month I reported that Google was testing hotel reviews grouped by traveler type. It is one of the more significant UI tests we have seen in awhile and it appears to be rolling out on mobile devices now.
There are few changes users can see now:
1) Google added a carousel for 3rd party reviews, which is not all that surprising considering how many carousels we see now in SERPs:
2) The review section UI has changed:
3) And by far the biggest and the most interesting change is a new review window that users can access by clicking on the review section within expanded knowledge panel.
Within this window, users can see and filter reviews left for a hotel on Google as well as other review websites. Google shows only 3 reviews per 3rd party review site, and to read longer reviews in full users need to click “read more” which would take them to the site where the review was left on.
Also, here users can view ratings by traveller type, including couples, families, solo and business travellers. These reviews are aggregated from TrustYou – a hotel guest feedback platform. According to their website they aggregate & analyze review data from different sources on the web as well reviews they acquire directly for their clients. This data, which TrustYou calls Meta-Review, is then pushed to Google many other websites, including Kayak, hotels.com, skyscanner, and more.
Not all hotels have information for all 4 types of travellers, as TrustYou might not have enough review data for a hotel to assign it to one of few of the types. Some (usually small) hotels do not have reviews by traveller type displayed at all.
Google tests and adds a lot of new features in the hospitality space in general, and the hotel vertical in particular. Google found a good way monetize this industry with booking ads within knowledge panels, and is trying to keep users engaged with listings more, as well as potentially bring more users who could be drawn to the feature.