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Google is rolling out a new immersive map experience for the web – fully interactive and tailored just for you.  The more you use the map, the more it learns from you based on your searches and your favorites (if you’re signed into Google).  Be it finding the nearest ice cream shop or an ideal fitness center, the new Google Maps for desktop is everything but judgmental. It offers not only ways to get where you want to go but also interesting information (via cards) and comparisons to help you make a decision that is right for you.  You can gain insight from Google+ friends and reviews on places you search.  As you use it over time, it becomes your personal map.

So let’s summarize what’s different from the current map:

  • You can now make the map a more customized experience – try saving your home and work locations, so you can quickly reference them for use in directions and search.

  • As you navigate the map and star places you like or leave reviews, the map learns from this experience and offers recommendations.

Place cards are shown on the left-hand side, and show more detailed information about points of interest.

In a recent interview Drew Olanoff of TechCrunch gained this insight from Jonah Jones, Lead Designer, Google Maps: “What if you could create a billion maps, one for each user.  That’s what we’re doing here.”

Changes to the new Google Maps on the desktop experience focus primarily on the ability to do everything you want to do on the map and not through the traditional sidebar and lettered results. You can even click points on the map if you don’t know the address, and it will map the best route for you. The new Google Map lets you compare multiple modes of transportation via car, public transportation, bike or walking.

                                                                                                           

                                                                                  Current Google Map

Current Google Map

New Google Map

New Google Map

So why is this development important for hoteliers?

Google Maps will most likely use signals from users such as public reviews and saved places to offer recommendations to an individual user, which could offer greater targeting options.

Indoor Google Maps: if you are not yet aware, Google is getting out of the car and venturing indoors to take on the massive task of mapping the indoors as well as the outdoors.  This is being done to make Google Maps even more useful and complete.  There is an opportunity right now to get the inside of your hotel/restaurant mapped for future use by Google.  Instead of finding directions TO a particular venue address, visitors can now find their way in and around buildings with accurate floor plan maps and indoor walking directions.  Hotels who jump on this will have the edge.

The more reviews, pictures and videos the better.  If you thought these elements were important before, they will now play an even bigger role in helping your hotel be found.   More emphasis has been placed on Google+ reviews in the new Google Maps.  In the old map, hovering or clicking on a business only showed how many reviews a certain business had received.  With the new version, this action now shows a ranking score based on a 5-point scale. Take time now to encourage users to post reviews to Google+.

Interested in getting a look at the new map?  Request an invite here: https://maps.google.com/help/maps/helloworld/desktop/preview/

About Denise Cooper

Denise leads the GCommerce marketing team with more than 30 years of experience in marketing and sales.  Denise and her team are constantly testing new marketing strategies and techniques to drive incremental revenue for hotel and travel industry clients.   Her focus is on strategic marketing, social media, media buying, email marketing and mobile strategies. Earlier in her career as an AT&T executive, Denise led relationships with some of AT&T's largest enterprise customers.  Her most recent position was part of the consulting group supporting the managed services needs of global 1000 companies. She also served as the Chairman of the Utah Board of Junior Achievement and served on the board over a ten year period.  Denise earned her MBA from Drake University and a bachelor's degree from Iowa State University.  Denise lives in Park City with her husband and two sons and enjoys skiing and running. 

Contact: Denise Cooper, Vice President Marketing

DCooper@GCommerceSolutions.com / (435) 214 - 5133

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