Reserve with Google Shake Up – New Search Experiences Coming Later in 2021
As a tour operator, you’re probably familiar with Reserve with Google (RwG), the service that enables users to book tours and activities directly from Google Maps, Google Search, and “things to do” searches with things like “book online” or “buy tickets” buttons.
Well, Reserve with Google is going to undergo some changes in 2021 – read more to find out what you need to know to prepare!
Upcoming RwG Changes
Many FareHarbor clients benefit from listing their tours and activities on RwG as it allows customers to book a tour or activity without even visiting the business’s website.
Despite the convenience and popularity of the program, Google recently announced that it will shut down this service sometime in 2021.
While this might sound like bad news for tour operators who saw increased bookings and engagement with wider audiences, don’t worry, the RwG shut-down will pave the way for bigger and better search experiences as Google phases out their existing service.
What does this mean for tour and activity operators?
We don’t know all the details just yet, but we can tell you that Google is planning to launch new search experiences to help customers find tours, activities, and attractions and connect users with travel partner websites to complete a booking.
There are no immediate changes
Similar to RwG, which is free to tour operators, Google’s new search experiences will allow partners to take advantage of free listings, with additional options to participate in paid promotion opportunities to reach wider audiences and attract new customers.
Currently using RwG?
If you’re already established on RwG, you don’t need to do anything. Although there’s no clear timeline on when the service will end, it’s expected to be phased out over 2021, and most accounts predict the change will come later in the year.
Not connected to RwG?
If you’re not currently taking bookings on RwG we recommend you get set up ahead of the North American summer season – you’ll benefit from those bookings in the short term and will be well-positioned to take advantage of Google’s new solution when they are ready to roll it out later this year.
Find out how to sign up for Reserve with Google here.
Continue to keep your GMB listing up-to-date
Whether or not you are currently using RwG, make sure to keep your Google My Business information up-to-date. In order to participate in many of Google’s programs business owners must have a verified (claimed) GMB listing – and having a robust GMB profile benefits your SEO!
Make sure your GMB profile is complete and current with our Google My Business checklist.
How FareHarbor Can Help
For clients who opted into RwG, the FareHarbor Connectivity team set up integrations to get your tours and activities onto Google. The new Google search experiences will also require a data feed integration with a Google partner. Once the new experiences are announced, FareHarbor will work with you to get set up to use the new features.
As always, we’ll share the full details right here on Compass so you know exactly what to expect with regard to Google’s latest tour and activity plans.