Google seems to be rolling out a new user interface for local packs for hotel listings. I can replicate it in Canada in different desktop browsers (Safari, Opera, Chrome) while logged in as well as in incognito modes which is usually a strong indicator of a roll out. Mobile 3 packs have not been affected.
While the new pack looks completely different, the most obvious change is that four listings are now shown instead of four. Another important change is that five new filter icons are now displayed in the new pack. The five filters are Top Choices, Guest Favorites, Budget Options, Luxury Stays, and For Tonight.
Google has been testing this new UI since at least July. With this change, Google seems to be trying to get more people to use filters in local packs to provide more relevant results within the new local finder that Google rolled out in October.
While quite often marketers can’t do much to react to Google’s UI changes, I think in this case hotel marketers may want to look into ways to up their Google review game, as the new Guest Favorites filter filters out all listings with low ratings (below 4 stars). So, in my example above, 3 out of the 4 listings will not be shown to users who decide to apply the filter.
Here is what hotel 3-packs used to look like: