Friday, February 13, 2009

Hilton buys Crown Plaza (according to Google)

Industry friend sent me a great screenshot of a Google search for the term"Crowne Plaza Cambridge". Google mapping or indexing pushed the result to www.hilton.com. Ooops. Unfortunately I can't replicate the result as I am an Australian IP address and my friend was in the UK but here is the screen shot.

Update - Xotels boss Patrick Landam has solved the mystery. The Cowne Plaza Boston/Woburn was rebranded the Hilton Boston/Woburn after a $10mm refurb in 2008. Shame that Patrick's good research killed a great Google conspiracy story and shown me up to be nothting but a haphazard blogger :).

7 comments:

Kristi said...

That's Gold! I come across these peculiarities every so often, but Google never seem to be able to reproduce them, so maybe it's just gremlins.

Anonymous said...

Good find! What are the opinions out there on aggregators turning up in Google Local Search for specific hotel names? (e.g. http://www.google.com.au/search?q=queenstown+hotels)

Martin Rusteberg said...

no aggregators for me, anonymous...

although i think there's not much of a difference whether it's an aggregator or an ota, it's up to the property to claim the spot and thus just witness that they don't understand online distribution

Sam I Am said...

Those aggregators popping up in those spots is rather annoying. Dumb of Google to allow it. Dumber still of the properties not to fix it asap. Seems heaps of aggregators are doing this without any consequences. Have a look at this result (pretty competitive term too...)

http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&q=hostels+amsterdam

Aside from one aggregator showing 4 times, at least 2 of the others are actually to aggregator sites.

And the best one is "Bob's Youth Hostel Exploitatiemaatschappij BV" which is the name of the hostel + "exploitation company ltd" added behind it. If disgruntled guests can have that appended to your main listing in Google, you've got a SERIOUS problem!!

Basically, yes, Google really is not good at handling this yet and everyone is seeing a lot of spam/abuse.

Patrick - Xotels said...

Hold your horses everyone.
I have simply gone into Google.co.uk for a sec and verified the story.

Nothing the matter, in this article

http://boston.bizjournals.com/boston/stories/2007/01/08/story14.html

The last line mentions: Late last year the Crowne Plaza Boston/Woburn under went a $10 million renovation and was re-branded the Hilton Boston/Woburn.

So maybe as part of the acquisition deal for the property Hilton is allowed to advertise this way...

http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=Crowne+Plaza+Woburn&btnG=Search&meta=

I mean I would certaily negotiate that in order not to loose the current clientele when reflagging a property...

And if it is a franchise or management contract, who would blame the owver? He just wants his hotel full regardless of the flag on top ;).

I do agree to many OTA's are advertising on hotel and brand names. This should be regulated. But from my experience when for a 35 room hotel in Amsterdam we politely asked the OTA to refraing from this everyone complied directly.

So the ball is in your court, if you don't want them to buy your keywords and advertise on this, send them a nice email and they will stop...

Action is required on the end of the hotelier. Waiting for Google and praying to the internet God of fairness qon't help ;).

Thanks!

Patrick Landman - Xotels

yen said...

@patrick: good for you for doing the follow-up research

too bad though, this is how great rumors start ;-)

Patrick - Xotels said...

sorry Tim ;)