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What Is Hotel Metasearch?

Metasearch is an important piece of any successful hotel marketing strategy, but what is it? How does it work? Most people don’t know what a metasearch engine really does behind the scenes, but understanding metasearch can help you get the most out of your hotel’s marketing.

What Is A Metasearch Engine?

Before we get into hotel metasearch, let’s establish what a metasearch engine is and how it works. 

At its core, a metasearch engine is an aggregator of data. Standard search engines browse for relevant results based on a search query, and give you a list of resources to find the information you need. Metasearch engines, though, scan through resources for you and instead give you a potential list of answers. Metasearch engines take care of research and organization, leaving you with an easily digestible and comparable list of information. 

Think about search engines in terms of something a bit more familiar, like a library. A standard search engine is a lot like a library catalog. If you’re looking for the answer to a specific question, the catalog can help you find books relating to the general topic. However, metasearch engines are more like a good reference librarian, and they take things a step further. A librarian will use the same catalog to find relevant books, but they’ll also help you read through and interpret those books to give you a list of potential answers. 

Both the catalog and librarian will help you find an answer to your question, but the librarian will save you time and effort by prioritizing and listing out the most relevant pieces of information, just like a metasearch engine. Both types of search engine have their time and place to shine, but metasearch engines can make information much more digestible and easier to compare, since they handle the research and organization for you.

What Is Hotel Metasearch?

Hotel metasearch engines are just like other metasearch engines, but with a narrow focus on rates, inventory, and availability of hotel rooms. Hotel metasearch engines generate a list of rate options for a potential guest to choose from, pulling real-time data from various sources including your CRS/booking engine and online travel agencies (OTAs).

Hotel metasearch engines make booking a room quick and simple for guests, reducing the frustration and tedium that can come from manual rate shopping. Guests can also book with the confidence of getting the best deal, since rates are easily comparable in the side-by-side format of hotel metasearch engines. These engines can even automatically include discounted rates from exclusive packages and other offers, making it even more appealing for a guest to book through metasearch channels. 

There are a number of hotel metasearch engines out there, including Google Hotel Ads, Kayak, and Trivago. Each engine works a bit differently, but they all share the same purpose of aggregating room rates from various websites into one list. Here’s an example from Google Hotel Ads, though most hotel metasearch engines have a similar look.

To ensure that your official rates are included by these hotel metasearch engines, it’s vital that you connect with a metasearch partner. If you want to learn more, check out our post on metasearch basics


If you’re not on hotel metasearch, you’re missing out. Metasearch engines are more detailed than standard search engines, scanning through appropriate resources and pulling out a list of the most important and relevant information. For hotels, metasearch engines are able to provide a list of real-time rates to potential guests, simplifying the booking process and increasing the likelihood of a stay at your hotel. 

If you’re interested in learning more about hotel metasearch or ready to partner, contact Metadesk below.