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Google Vacation Rentals Connectivity Partner

Status: In Development 356 Votes
Paul W
Oct 20, 2023 8:54 AM
OR Team Member Joined Jun, 2009 800 posts

As we pass 700 listings in the Google VR beta, I wanted to take a second to provide a very important update.  This may sting a bit, but please read this thoroughly to understand the issue.

At this time, we are only allowing users with a Hosted Site (ie. the website engine managed by OwnerRez) to enter the Google VR beta.  Yesterday, we reached out to the users who were already in the beta and were not using a Hosted Site, informed them of this decision, and removed their listings from the integration.

This is nothing something we want to do, but it has to be done to keep the integration in place.

Google measures what they call "Price Accuracy" for all the listings in a particular integration.  We have access to a dashboard showing us the Price Accuracy of all users and listings from OwnerRez.  Price Accuracy is a measurement of how many OwnerRez listings are showing the correct price on Google. Basically, Google wants to ensure that when a guest clicks through to the landing page (i.e. the user's actual website) to complete the booking, the price they see at the end is the same as what was advertised on Google back at the beginning.  They also check for availability and branding to ensure the property looks the same and is still available if it is shown as available on Google.

Price Accuracy is a pivotal part of the integration.  The integrating partner (OwnerRez) must maintain a high score or risk being delisted, and that means the entire integration, not just one or two specific listings.

The Price Accuracy score for OwnerRez is very low right now, even though we've been working with many individual users and listings for months to analyze and fix problem after problem.  We have dropped into a range where our integration (the entire integration for all users) is at risk of being turned off completely.  We don't believe it will come to that, but we have to take drastic actions to make large changes and then work towards bringing back new features after the pricing issues are first corrected.

So why is our Price Accuracy score so low?  What's the problem?

As we do with all of our features, we built the Google VR integration with a lot of flexibility in mind.  We designed the integration to highlight our user's brand and website - we wanted to give each of you the flexibility to showcase your own website so that it's a direct booking experience when the guest comes to your website from Google. 

Our competitors don't do this.  Our competitors use a single landing page for all traffic (like bookings.mypmssoftware.com), and force all guests to go through that same experience to book.  This is what Google prefers and how their system is used to validate Price Accuracy.  It's more of a hotel model where they assume all listings are the same.  If you search on Google VR for vacation rentals that are listed by some of our competitors, you will see what I mean.  Most of them go to a central booking landing page, not the PM's website.   This allows Price Accuracy to be uniform and consistent across all listings.

Because our OwnerRez team built our integration to use each user's personal website, widget, or custom landing page, it means that Google has to check Price Accuracy in different ways for each and every user.  This has created several problems:

1) Google's verification system is not designed to do this correctly.  We have talked to Google exhaustively about many parsing/verification issues that are not actually correct.  What they have deemed incorrect on one user's website may not be the same on another.  In many cases, it comes down to presentation - do they believe that "this widget to book on" is the same as the listing that was on Google VR at the beginning?

2) In many cases, our OwnerRez users are using widgets or custom website landing pages in ways that do not correctly show the same rates or availability as what Google is looking for.  When Google verifies the landing page, they don't see the same prices, so they drop the Price Accuracy score for that listing.

3) Google does not verify everyone, only a random handful of users day by day.  As I mentioned above, Google's verification system assumes that all listings within an integration are the same booking experience.  If 10 or 15 verifications fail overnight, they drop the score based on those failures and don't verify the other 500 listings.  The next night, they may verify 10 or 15 others.

Solutions and steps forward...

It is imperative that we fix the Price Accuracy problem as quickly as possible.  We have noticed that most problems come from those using widgets on other websites or custom landing pages because we cannot guarantee that those widgets and custom landing page experiences will show the correct pricing and availability when Google verifies that page.  The users using our Hosted Website tend to be the most accurate as our hosted website booking and property pages use the same structure and forms.  While they may be styled differently, the underlying property and booking pages are the same user by user, so our Hosted Website landing pages tend to verify at a much higher rate.

Our current roadmap is this:

1) As of this moment, only Hosted Website users will be allowed to participate in the Google VR integration.  We have already removed those without a hosted site and are taking steps to put out a quick update so that new beta users don't see widget/custom landing page options.

2) Work with Google to monitor Price Accuracy scoring and restore our integration scores to excellent.

3) Develop a default landing page that all users can use (no matter your website situation) that uses an OwnerRez-provided guest form, which will accept Google VR traffic and ask the guest if they want to book after showing a standard landing page with charges.  This will become the new default landing page option when turning on Google VR.  All of the current beta users that were kicked out will be immediately added back using this landing page option.

4) Work to establish our own international verifications and vetting process to allow widget and custom landing page experiences.  As with all OwnerRez features, we are deeply committed to promoting your brand and website experience, so we will work to get back to this option as time allows.  It will be difficult and take time because of how Google verifies things, but it will remain on the roadmap as a goal for Google VR.  However, in the meantime, using the default landing page (bullet 3 above) will make it so that all users can get their listings into Google VR without waiting for this.

I understand this will surprise some of you and create frustration.  Please understand that this decision is about creating long-term stability in the Google VR integration and opening it up to as many as possible as soon as possible.  This integration is unlike any other we've worked on over the years, but we are committed to making it a success.

Bobby V
Dec 21, 2022 10:51 PM
Joined May, 2022 1 post

I'd like to be included in the beta as well, if possible.

Rex C
Dec 22, 2022 5:06 PM
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2021 46 posts

We have received enough interest to fill our list at this time. As development finishes and we are ready to begin bringing users into the beta, we will reach out to those on the list!

Dec 22, 2022 5:39 PM
Joined Sep, 2020 85 posts

We have received enough interest to fill our list at this time. As development finishes and we are ready to begin bringing users into the beta, we will reach out to those on the list!

by Rex C – Dec 22, 2022 10:06 PM (UTC)

I hope I am included. There was an earlier post that said we would be included if we had upvoted it, which I did. 

Can you clarify if the "upvoters" are included in the beta? 

I did not respond to the thread earlier because it seemed redundant. 


Jan 1, 2023 5:32 PM
Joined Apr, 2022 17 posts

Looking forward to this new connectivity partner! Thanks OwnerRez!

Derek d
Jan 4, 2023 11:01 AM
Joined Jan, 2019 10 posts

How is this not completed yet? Is it just a matter of deelopment resources?

susanne young
Jan 4, 2023 12:18 PM
Joined Jun, 2020 2 posts

How is this not completed yet? Is it just a matter of deelopment resources?

by Derek d – Jan 4, 2023 4:01 PM (UTC)

I am also anxiously awaiting Owner Rez establishing Preferred Connectivity Partner status so I can get exposure on Google Vacation Rentals. Google Vacation Rentals presents one of the few opportunities left for our industry to roadblock an Airbnb monopoly. 

Michael D
Jan 5, 2023 5:41 PM
Joined Oct, 2019 54 posts

Happy to test.

Jan 13, 2023 3:57 AM
Joined Mar, 2022 18 posts

Count me in as a beta tester 

Take to the Lake
Jan 13, 2023 11:04 AM
Joined Aug, 2022 15 posts

We would also like to be included. Thank you! This could be a game changer in our area. 

Jan 18, 2023 4:51 AM
Joined Jan, 2020 45 posts

Please may I be added to the list too, really appreciated.

Rick K
Jan 18, 2023 10:32 AM
Joined Nov, 2018 10 posts

Add me when you are connecting, we can be part of your beta test.

Jan 19, 2023 4:58 PM
Joined Jan, 2020 45 posts

Same here, I was one of the first to upvote this, so I hope I’ve been included, as I didn’t know you had to comment too! 👍 

Mike Mc
Jan 19, 2023 5:32 PM
Joined Feb, 2019 8 posts

I upvoted as well. I am not sure if I made it before they shut down any more volunteers. I would be interested in Beta testing Hopper when that is ready as well. 

Shoreline Rental
Jan 19, 2023 6:01 PM
Joined Sep, 2022 8 posts

Same here :(

Serge K
Jan 19, 2023 6:14 PM
Joined Jan, 2021 5 posts

Did we have to comment also?  I did not see that as part of the instructions.   I thought the instructions were strictly to upvote it as we did that immediately when it was posted.  

Alin S
Jan 19, 2023 6:21 PM
Joined Aug, 2022 26 posts

That is what I'm hoping is going to happen. I upvoted, so I hope I will be added to the beta test list

Jim F
Jan 21, 2023 5:19 PM
Joined Feb, 2018 4 posts

Beta me.  :)

Shawn H
Jan 24, 2023 1:38 PM
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2021 170 posts

I upvoted as well. I am not sure if I made it before they shut down any more volunteers. I would be interested in Beta testing Hopper when that is ready as well. 

by Mike Mc – Jan 19, 2023 10:32 PM (UTC)

Just a quick note about Hopper - we learned today that Hopper integration is delayed indefinitely. They are re-evaluating their direction on vacation rentals.

Linda S
Jan 24, 2023 1:39 PM
Joined Jul, 2022 4 posts

Interested in Beta

Sue & Brian J
Jan 26, 2023 12:55 PM
Joined Aug, 2021 1 post

Ken T :

We are interested in Google Vacation Rentals !