Vacation Rentals

Similar to Hotel Ads, integrating with Vacation Rentals requires completion of one-time tasks to set up vacation rental properties and prices to be displayed to users searching for their next destination. The integration process can be started either directly with Google, by meeting the requirements listed below and completing the Vacation Rentals interest form, or by collaborating with an approved third-party integration partner. Once approved, a Google Technical Account Manager will be in touch with you at every step of the integration pipeline.

In summary, you should implement:

  1. Property listing: Static information about the property including name, address, GeoCode locations, image and website URLs, and amenities.

  2. Price: Itinerary that indicates the availability and price of a stay at a property.

  3. Landing Page: Template that allows users to land on your websites with prefilled itinerary information.

Before you begin

Before integrating with Vacation Rentals, you should be able to provide the following:

  • A designated partner technical contact who can be contacted by a Google Technical Account Manager.

  • A contract signed with Google to protect customer privacy.

  • Localized self-service or email-based user support.

Property listing feed

A Vacation Rentals listing feed contains all the properties to be shown on Google. This feed contains the physical attributes of the property including name, address, GeoCode locations, image URLs, website URLs, and amenities. If you are unsure whether your property is a Vacation Rental or Hotel, refer to Categories for hotels and lodging businesses.

There are 2 options to provide your vacation rental listings.

Method 1: Crawled list feed

This method is the preferred approach for partners with smaller inventories including property managers who prefer a simpler setup and maintenance. Partners mark up their site with structured data and Google can crawl it to generate the list feed.

Mark up your website

Follow the Search Console Documentation for marking up the vacation rentals on your site.

Create a sitemap with vacation rental listings

Google will automatically follow links on your site to discover your vacation rental listings. To help ensure that Google finds all of your listings and finds them faster, you can create a sitemap with your vacation rental listings. Follow the guide for creating a sitemap.

There are a few additional requirements on the sitemap for the crawled listing feed:

  • The sitemap must contain the vacation listings URLs; it cannot be a sitemap index, which is used by other search products.
  • It's preferred that the sitemap only contain Vacation Rental listings URLs, but it can contain other URLs as well.
  • You can provide multiple sitemaps.
  • Share the link(s) to your sitemap with your Google Technical Account Manager.

Method 2: XML List Feed

The method is a good option for connectivity partners and partners with larger inventories. For initial ingestion, partners will create a vacation rental list feed and include attributes unique to vacation rentals.

Create the XML files

For initial ingestion, you need to share a listing feed with the Google Technical Account Manager based on the specifications provided in the Hotel list feed XML reference. However, unlike hotel lists, you should include relevant attributes specific to Vacation Rentals. The ingestion of the listing feed can take approximately 2 to 4 weeks, during which Google will be in touch with you to assist with troubleshooting and optimizing the feed.

Attributes unique to vacation rentals

The general XML structure has a similar format as Hotel listing feeds. See Hotel list XML reference.

Failure to include the following items automatically disables the listing.

Host the listing feed and file structure

Host your listing feed in a .zip file. Google fetches the latest set of property listings in your inventory daily.

Mind the following requirements for importing the hosted listing file:

  • .zip files are to be shared with Google.
  • Feeds should be shared in the .zip format only (no .tar or .gz).
  • Each .zip file can contain multiple listing XML files.
  • Each XML file can contain more than one listing (preferred).
  • Each XML file must be less than 100 MB.
  • Each XML file can only contain one language.

    • Example: xml{:.readonly} <listings><language>en</language>...</listings>

    • For non-primary languages, include only the unique hotel ID and content for the property in that language only.

Testing your XML

To verify that your XML files are correct before sharing them with Google, use the following command to validate your feed as explained in Hotel Ads schemas:

xmllint --noout --schema myfile.xml

Property listing image requirements

We recommend that listings have at least 8 photos (at least 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, and 1 common area). Having fewer than 8 photos could impact performance metrics for the listing.

Use the best possible quality images, provided that they fit within the following constraints:

  • Recommended resolution: 1920 x 1080 px
  • Maximum height: 4000 px
  • Maximum width: 4000 px
  • Maximum overall size: 10 MB
  • File format: JPG, JPEG, PNG, WEBP
  • Orientation: Landscape
  • Ensure image URLs are accessible to Googlebot and Googlebot-Image and not blocked in robots.txt or an HTTP X-Robots-Tag header. For more information, see Test your robots.txt.

No watermark or branding should be in the images. Properties without images are automatically be disabled from serving.

The image order is auto-generated and cannot be changed. Google ranks and displays images within your property listing and could take into consideration factors, such as user query terms. For example, when a user searches for "vacation rentals with a pool," pool-related images might display at a higher level.

Common issues

Room-sharing is not supported in Google Vacation Rentals. We only support full properties.

Every bookable property should be sent to Google as a separate <listing> that contains its own details and attributes. For example, each apartment unit inside a multi-unit building should be sent as a separate <listing>.

Attributes play an important role in explaining the details of the properties, so send as many attributes as possible to help promote your properties.

Price feed

Once listing feed ingestion and troubleshooting is completed, you need to set up Hotel Price integration so that Google is able to cache the updated itinerary prices for Vacation Rental properties.

There are two methods for setting up pricing:

  • Method 1: Google transaction pricing
  • Method 2: ARI pricing support for vacation rentals

Method 1: Google transaction pricing

If you are using Google transaction prices to pass your prices to Google, price integration is the same as Hotels price integration. Refer to the XML reference: Pricing & room inventory (transactions).

You can begin implementing your Price feed using the PULL delivery method. If the PULL method is successful, you can upgrade to the PULL+HINT (changed pricing) method for better control of updated prices.

A Live Pricing query endpoint (similar to a PULL endpoint) can be used to fetch prices for users when they visit itineraries that are not cached at Google.

Method 2: ARI pricing support for Vacation Rentals

Availability, Rates, and Inventory (ARI) can be used to deliver nightly rates and availability information that Google uses to generate prices to users.

In Vacation Rentals, each unit is a separate listing, with exactly one room of one room type.

There can, however, be multiple different rate plans (packages) for each property. For example:

  • You can offer guests booking options with different value addons, such as free cancellation.

  • You can use rate plans as virtual rates to implement promotions with extra restrictions (even though the Promotions API is preferable for that use case).

Best practices for ARI messages for Vacation Rentals are:

  • For Transaction (Property Data):

    • Specify a single RoomData element with the room ID you have selected to represent the individual unit on the listing, matching the @InvTypeCode in the ARI messages. You can reuse the property ID.

    • Specify one or more PackageData elements for each rate plan you plan to use.

  • For OTA_HoteInvCountNotifRQ:

    • Set an inventory count of 1 if the unit is available on a given date, or 0 if it has been booked.

Landing pages

The basics of configuring Landing pages are the same for Vacation Rentals integration as for Hotels integration. There must be at least one general landing page available to all users without any restrictions.

The following landing page example covers every user country and language. In this example, My Amazing VR Website is the brand name users see in the Vacation Rentals search results:

<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
<PointsOfSale partner='partner-name-vr'>
  <PointOfSale id='landing-everywhere'>
    <DisplayNames display_text='My Amazing VR website' display_language='en'/>

Price accuracy

Based on the Referral experience policy, Google expects that the prices and availability cached on the Google side will match the prices and availability on your website. We regularly check the prices in the cache with your website prices and assign a Price Accuracy Score based on the freshness of the prices in the Google price cache.

For an account to be eligible to be enabled and shown to the users, it must be above the Price Accuracy Score threshold for a certain number of days to make sure there are no fundamental issues with passing prices to Google. These checks continue even after the account goes live.

You have access to mismatched cases and details in your Hotel Center account throughout integration and afterwards to help in troubleshooting.

Brand associations specific to integration partners

Brand association lets you group vacation rental properties together. You can associate brand-specific icons (or logos) to the set of properties in a brand. Follow the instructions on How to associate your properties to brands.