Metasearch Overview

Introduction
Metasearch advertising refers to a service that places advertising on various search-style platforms to advertise hotels to users of the sites.  This process includes bidding for the chance to occupy a spot on a list of potential markets alongside OTAs, Search engines, and smaller secondary travel-centric sites.   Each channel is different in how the advertisements appear, or how many they display – but for all intents and purposes, they function in very similar manners. 

At the time this is published, Preferred Hotel Group has partnered with Derbysoft to manage participation in metasearch campaigns for four main channels:

  • Google
  • TripAdvisor
  • Kayak
  • Trivago

Through this partnership, we are consistently optimizing hotel bidding and positioning on those influential metasearch engines – as well as working towards gaining exposure in new and emerging channels.   Derbysoft is continually onboarding new channels, and Preferred onboarded a new program with them in 2020 that expanded the network to add fifteen new niche channels around the world.  **Please note, your property must be using Synxis via Preferred Hotel Group's booking engine configuration to participate. 

Basic Information

The Preferred Metasearch Program is administered via a third party (Derbysoft).  Participating hotels are automatically opted-in to this program, and may opt out at their discretion using the form link listed out below. 

Once opted in, the program is fairly autonomous.   The program leverages rates that you have selected in SynXis for the Meta channels, and will then use those selected rates to display against the other meta campaign advertisements from competitors, OTAs, etc.

As a hotelier, Preferred encourages you to conduct your own Metasearch campaigns in concert with the Preferred Metasearch Program, working together to represent your property to the widest audience possible.   Those campaigns can be managed directly through the channels, or through the use of a digital media agency. 

Rate parity is absolutely critical to the success of the Metasearch campaigns.   In order to be successful, your rate strategy, and the setup of the rate filtering in SynXis are crucial to yield the best results. 

How do metasearch engines work?                                                                          
Guests looking for a hotel will typically enter a destination and provide a date range.   In most cases, the guest can limit the search by location, rating, price, or brand.   The metasearch engine pulls information and rates from OTAs, booking engines, and channel sources and organizes the information to present hotels that match the criteria. 

After reviewing the hotels presented, the guest would look at the qualitative aspects of the hotels, factor in the overall cost of the booking, and then make a decision on whether to book a specific hotel or resort.   The guest is then presented with a list of potential vendors that offer rates for the specific hotel.  The best available rate (based on the data provided upstream to the distribution channels) is shown from each vendor for the guest to compare, and the guest decides which vendor to place their booking through.   For Preferred Hotels & Resorts metasearch advertisements, the guest would be directed to the Preferred booking engine page for the specific property.   The rates presented through our booking engine are your public rates.  

How do metasearch engines benefit my hotel?    
Metasearch engines provide many benefits to your hotel and its growth, some obvious, like bookings generated directly from the advertising, and some less obvious – like exposure to customers that you wouldn’t normally reach, creating consumer impressions, increasing brand exposure, and ultimately creating “halo” bookings, where the brand and value resonates indirectly with the user and they come back to book a stay.

The benefits from participating in Metasearch include:   

  • Branding – Metasearch engines are well established, and used by millions of travelers each year, which provides exposure for your property to be listed next to other well-established hotels and resorts. This association will help authenticate your reputation and status within the industry. 
  • Ease of use – Metasearch engines are generally a one-stop show for reviews, photos, and pricing. The guest is able to see a pricing forward view of your property, displaying the various vendor channels that they could select to place their booking, and able to compare the best rates between each channel instantly. 
  • Volume – Each metasearch channel is an organization that is dedicated to growing their customer base, providing accurate results, and generating revenue by quickly providing the guests with a way to book their stay. Their efforts to streamline the process created massive volumes of potential customers for your property, while reducing the costs to advertise to the potential market.  
  • Own the Guest – When a booking occurs from a metasearch engine – the customer is directed to the booking engine directly, as opposed to routing through a third-party. This provides you with a direct connection to the guest, and the ability to control their experience until they complete their stay. 
  • Diversify your Portfolio – Metasearch engines are an influential tool which guests use to become informed and potentially decide to book their hotel stays. Bookings through metasearch channels are prominent, and will aid in providing your hotel with a rich set of options for how to increase exposure to your target market.   Participation in the Preferred Metasearch Program will expose your property to channels you many not have been active in.    

Along with the above, the Preferred-Derbysoft partnership maximizes your exposure to the consumer base, while leveraging a state-of-the-art AI driven bidding engine that constantly improves on its strategy.    

How does the metasearch engine get paid?
Preferred has negotiated favorable rates with all partnering metasearch engines, and the cost of 10% commission is passed along to the property  on consumed bookings.

Most metasearch engines require that we pay the commission centrally and pass along the charge to the hotel.  For those partners, Preferred Hotels & Resorts will include the pass-through 10% commission from bookings on the monthly transaction invoice.   This is in addition to the Preferred transaction charge.

Other metasearch engines will have their own official IATA number, and the hotels will pay them directly though the standard travel agency commission procedure.   This is noted in the grid detail below. 

How can I see if any bookings are coming to my hotel?
Bookings from the metasearch engines will include an agency ID number with each booking. You can
check your monthly Production Workbook for production, or search for bookings via the agency ID.

What rates are displayed via metasearch engines?
Metasearch engines pull rates and availability directly out of the SynXis CRS. Derbysoft uses the available rates that are specified within the META filter in SynXis.  Any rate that is included in that filter will be pulled, and could be used for the ads - which typically look for the lowest rate matching the specified travel dates.

It is important to note that your rates provided to OTAs are also displayed from their advertising. As most OTAs cost the hotel an additional 20-30% due to the net rate requirement, the hotel’s presence on metasearch channels via Preferred provides a lower cost of distribution for your hotel.

What is the difference between Metasearch campaigns and the TripAdvisor Instant Book, or Google Hotels direct book advertisements?
The Instant Book and direct-book style programs allow you to configure a business profile with those channels, which can leverage your properties rates and availability and allow (TripAdvisor and Google) to act as a marketplace for customers to book. These listings are not metasearch advertising, and essentially let Google and TripAdvisor act like a direct-to-consumer OTA – where they own the customer transaction and booking process.   Standard Metasearch advertisements simply direct customers to your booking engine (or the Preferred booking engine for the Preferred Metasearch Program), where the customer completes the transaction. 

Does Preferred's Metasearch program compete with my hotels' direct metasearch campaigns?
No.  The Preferred Metasearch program works in concert with your own metasearch activity to improve your chances of booking a customer directly.  Most of the metasearch channels limit the amount of advertising that can relate to a property. 

As the spots are limited – if your hotel is advertising, and you also participate in the Preferred Metasearch program, your property can effectively fill two of the available spots and double the chances of your customer booking through the hotel direct or through Preferred, which reduces the amount of commission you have to pay for the reservation (compared to booking through an OTA.)   The Preferred Metasearch advertisements can effectively displace one of the other advertising OTAs. 

How can I change my hotel's participation in Preferred's metasearch program?
You may choose to pause your hotel's activity on select or all metasearch channels by completing this form. If you have any immediate questions, please contact your RD or RAM. 

How can I update my hotel description and images on the metasearch engine?
Every metasearch engine has its own procedure. Please refer to our metasearch partner information to learn how to update each partner site. 

Partner Company IATA Payment Processing Fee How to update hotel content Rates displayed
Google Hotel Ads 05560295 and 00079354 Hotel directly via standard IATA commission processing - USA only 10% Update directly in SynXis CRS All public rates 
TripAdvisor Instant Book N/A Hotels that opt into agreement are centralized via Preferred 13%  Update directly in SynXis CRS All public rates 
TripAdvisor CPC 00079565  Centralized via Preferred 10% Update directly in SynXis CRS All public rates
Kayak 00059126 and 00079374 and
00097149
Centralized via Preferred 10% Submit update form to Preferred META filter rates only
Wego 00089261 and 00079424 Centralized via Preferred 10% Send change requests to hoteliers@wego.com  All public rates
RoomKey 45516365 Hotel directly via standard IATA commission processing 10% Update directly in SynXis CRS NQUAL
Oyster 00059127 Centralized via Preferred 10% Send change requests to oyster.happyfox.com/new All public rates
Skyscanner 00059188 and 00079404 Centralized via Preferred 10% Send change requests to partnersupport@skyscanner.net All public rates
Trivago 00079394 Centralized via Preferred 10% Update directly in SynXis CRS META filter rates only
Google Hotel Finder 00079354 Centralized via Preferred 10% Update directly in SynXis CRS META filter rates only
Hipmunk 00079364 Centralized via Preferred 10% Update directly in SynXis CRS All public rates
TripReviewer 00079384 Centralized via Preferred 10% Update directly in SynXis CRS All public rates
HotelLook 00079414 Centralized via Preferred  10% Update directly in SynXis CRS All public rates
OpenDoor 00079434 Centralized via Preferred 10% Update directly in SynXis CRS All public rates
ChaNet 00079444 Centralized via Preferred 10% Update directly in SynXis CRS All public rates
Daodao 00079454 Centralized via Preferred 10% Update directly in SynXis CRS All public rates
Dianpin 00079464 Centralized via Preferred 10% Update directly in SynXis CRS All public rates
In My Show - Weibo 00079474 Centralized via Preferred 10% Update directly in SynXis CRS All public rates
Lotour 00079484 Centralized via Preferred 10% Update directly in SynXis CRS All public rates
MediaV 00079494 Centralized via Preferred 10% Update directly in SynXis CRS All public rates
Qunar 00079504 Centralized via Preferred 10% Update directly in SynXis CRS All public rates
TaoBao 00079514 Centralized via Preferred 10% Update directly in SynXis CRS All public rates
Youbibi 00079534 Centralized via Preferred 10% Update directly in SynXis CRS All public rates

*TripAdvisor Instant Booking Commission is 13%.