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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.

Dave H
Feb 24, 2023 12:31 AM
Joined Dec, 2022 1 post

+1 Agree

Feb 28, 2023 2:10 AM
Joined Jun, 2022 7 posts

Add me in to beta for Google Vacation rentals. Mahal I in advance! 

Ocean Zen
Feb 28, 2023 2:21 AM
Joined Jun, 2022 69 posts

is there a formal way to sign up for the Beta program? Thanks

Sheila H
Feb 28, 2023 8:36 AM
Joined Mar, 2022 3 posts

If there is a Beta group I would also like to be added to it. Thanks. 

Scott H
Mar 1, 2023 10:35 PM
Joined Sep, 2022 8 posts

I'd also love to be added to a beta group if/when it exists!

Hemang L
Mar 2, 2023 6:24 AM
Joined Feb, 2023 15 posts

pls add me to the beta group as well if possible.

Stone Ridge Lodg
Mar 5, 2023 4:01 PM
Joined Feb, 2023 1 post

I'd also be interested in help evaluate the integration. I'm a software developer with over 15yrs industry experience and would love an opportunity to help bring this to market.


Elizabeth M
Mar 15, 2023 1:41 PM
Joined Feb, 2017 10 posts

Would love to be in beta test group!

Mike and Debby G
Mar 16, 2023 10:48 AM
Joined Aug, 2020 3 posts

How do we sign up for Google beta testing? Please add us.  Thank you!!

GSM Properties
Mar 19, 2023 7:34 AM
Joined Oct, 2022 5 posts

Please add us to the beta test group for Google Vacation Rentals as well if possible. We're very interested in this and have a Google Business Page which we heard may be removed at some point because Google is pushing all vacation rentals this direction. Thanks.

Scott J
Mar 22, 2023 2:19 AM
Joined Mar, 2019 125 posts

I can't tell if I requested to be added to the Beta group long before or not, but I would like to be if not.

Meantime, I found my property on Google Vacation Rentals, and see that they are being linked to Booking.com instead of my website. Is this Google partnering with Booking.com?

Regardless, when OR gets this set up so that all of its users that want to be are in GVR, will the connection to Booking.com go away so that travelers have only the choice to go to my website and not Booking.com?

Stacia and Larry M
Mar 24, 2023 12:59 PM
Joined Feb, 2021 12 posts

Quick question - will OR integration of a property override the integration of the same property if it’s also being pushed by BDC to Google? Or will it show twice? 

Paul W
Mar 28, 2023 6:36 PM
OR Team Member Joined Jun, 2009 800 posts

Quick question - will OR integration of a property override the integration of the same property if it’s also being pushed by BDC to Google? Or will it show twice? 

Great question!

We didn't know the answer, so we reached out to our dev contacts at Google, and they said the following:

...what you are referring to is typically what we refer to as clustering (i.e., different integrators giving Google the same listing and Google aggregating those listings in some way).

For our Google Hotels product, we do cluster identical listings into one listing and in the booking module for that listing we show the different integrators who have provided this listing and are available to book on.

For our Google VR product, we don't do clustering yet (we are aiming to do this sometime in Q3 or so), and so listings that are for the same property from different integrators will show up as duplicate listings in our search result page

Answer: they will show up as duplicate right now, but later this year they should cluster the results together.

In other words, if Booking.com or someone else pushes your listings and OwnerRez is also pushing it directly, your house will appear and then when the person goes to book, it will show them multiple rates in a table with Booking.com on one line and your own personal website on another with the rates next to both.  The guest would be free to go to Booking.com or your personal website whichever they prefer.

(but not until Q3)

Stacia and Larry M
Mar 28, 2023 11:38 PM
Joined Feb, 2021 12 posts

Thanks for checking into this. I always strive to ask questions that stump developers!  

Hilary L
Apr 28, 2023 6:39 AM
Joined Apr, 2023 1 post

We are now working with Google Vacation Rentals to integrate with them.  If you are interested in potentially joining our beta test group, please upvote this if you haven't already.

by Ken T – Dec 6, 2022 4:06 PM (UTC)

Would love to help test

by Deanna Q – Dec 6, 2022 6:38 PM (UTC)

Please. Lol. I've been trying to figure it out myself with no luck. 


Pam D
Apr 28, 2023 7:20 AM
Joined Nov, 2021 6 posts

I would like to join the Beta testing. I see to be a Product Manager and conducted integration and UAT testing. Would love to help from the user side. 

Also, I would like to see my Google reviews on my existing Google businesses for my vacation rentals to carry over. 

Doug J
Apr 28, 2023 9:06 AM
Joined Dec, 2022 1 post

We’d love to be part of the Beta!

SunnySide Homes
Apr 28, 2023 9:17 AM
Joined Jan, 2023 10 posts

Count me in 

Julie R
Apr 28, 2023 9:28 AM
Joined Sep, 2019 7 posts

We would like to join the beta:) although it seems it is already going on. Thanks 

Mila M
Apr 28, 2023 9:40 AM
Joined May, 2022 7 posts

I thought Voting 👍 was enough, but just in case I would love to join the Beta