All you need to know about ranking, search results, and visibility
In order to help refresh your ranking knowledge, we’ve put together a list of some frequently asked questions about visibility, search results, and our ranking algorithm.
What is ranking?
When we talk about ranking, we’re referring to the order in which we display available accommodations in guests’ search results.
We sort these results based on what’s most relevant to guests’ particular preferences, taking into account their past search behavior, specific market dynamics, and the overall performance of properties on our website.
This makes it easier to match guests with the right kind of accommodations and helps you attract guests who want to book your kind of property.
How has Booking.com’s approach to ranking changed over time?
Our approach to ranking has never been static. Over the years, it's evolved with the changing needs and expectations of the people looking for accommodations on Booking.com – your guests.
To understand what’s important to guests when they search for accommodations, we constantly ask for their feedback, study their past search patterns, and measure our partners’ performance.
As a result, our ranking system has become more sophisticated, dynamic, and even more personalized for guests. Instead of presenting the same property rankings for all types of guests, we customize guest search results to make them relevant to their preferences.
This increases your chances of attracting guests who genuinely want to book your type of accommodation. However, we can only display a limited number of properties, so ranking is always relative. If one property moves up, another goes down.
What factors affect my visibility in the ranking?
Where your property appears in search results depends on your own performance, your competitors’ performance, and the changing demand in your market. Guest behavior is also a big factor. Depending on which filters or sort options they use, your property can appear higher or lower in the ranking for any given search.
To increase your occupancy and improve your conversion, you need to be competitive in your market and attractive to potential guests. However, every guest and market are unique, so the preferences and dynamics of each change over time.
We recommend regularly checking your price quality score, the flexibility of your policies, guest reviews, promotions, property page score, and inventory. This way you can make sure you’re providing guests with the right offerings at the right time.
To protect intellectual copyrights, the exact details of how our ranking works are confidential. However, when we make changes, they’re never out of the blue. There’s always extensive user testing and a well-defined evaluation process behind them.
Ultimately, our goal is to keep up with dynamic market trends, cater to guests’ unique preferences, and make it easier for them to find your property.
Which factors most impact rankings, and how can I influence my visibility in the ranking?
Every guest is unique and their needs change over time. That’s why our ranking algorithm automatically adjusts search results based on guest preferences, past patterns of website traffic, and other factors that help us make the ranking relevant for each guest.
We also use machine learning to continually evaluate what matters most to guests. This helps your property connect with the right kind of guest.
Even though there's no single determining factor, conversion (i.e. turning lookers into bookers) is important, and improving your conversion rate starts with being seen by more potential guests. You can learn more about the basics of visibility and find out which tools boost your visibility.
Is there a tool that can help me understand my visibility performance on Booking.com?
The Ranking on Site dashboard located on the Extranet tracks your property’s performance at each stage of the guest's search. The tool updates regularly and shows:
- Your search results views: The number of times guests see your property in search results.
- Your property views: The number of times guests view your property page.
- Your bookings: The number of times guests book your property.
- Your popularity: The number of times your property shows up in search results compared to the total number of properties in your city.
Does the number of bookings I receive affect my ranking?
The number of bookings you receive is vital to your ranking because conversion—the number of guest searches you turn into solid bookings—is the main indicator of how well your property performs on our website. As a result, our ranking algorithm is optimized for conversion.
Conversion also helps us predict the likelihood of your property being booked. If a guest searching with particular preferences books your property, you'll also appeal to guests with a similar profile in the future – thus affecting your ranking.
You can calculate your conversion by dividing the total number of property page views for a specific period by the total number of stayed bookings for the same period.
Is my ranking affected if I’m booked on other channels and my Booking.com calendar is blocked out?
To appear in our search results, your property needs to be available for the dates a guest is searching for. If you don’t offer availability on those dates, you won’t show up for guests because they won’t be able to book.
The number of bookings you receive impacts your overall performance, which affects your ranking. To make sure your property shows up in search results, we suggest keeping your Booking.com calendar accurate and up to date.
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