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What factors determine how my listing appears in search results?

· Airbnb,Airbnb Search Engine,Get More Bookings,Tips

Last week we published an article on how we deal with Airbnb search results in Vayoo App. Many of you have written us asking for a summary of the factors that determine how your listings appear in the search results. Here it is!

In order to understand how the Airbnb search ranking algorithm works, we need to put ourselves in the travelers’ place. If you are using Airbnb as a traveler, you want to get the perfect listing for your trip, and that’s what Airbnb wants to deliver. The more happy guests, the more bookings, the more bookings, the more guests, the more guests, the more hosts, and so on and so forth. According to Airbnb official info, they look at “nearly 100 different factors for every listing in every search”.

Although the entire list of factors is considered confidential by the home-sharing company, they have disclosed a list of categories:

  1. Guest needs: Airbnb takes into account not only what are they searching for, but also their previous bookings, their Wish List or clicked on, and more.
  2. Listing details: This is more about how you perform as a host. The number of positive reviews, competitive pricing, Instant Book turned on, communication with guests, etc.
  3. Trip details: Dates, number of guests, length of the stays, minimum and maximum price.

Now we have named the basic categories, let’s have a closer look.

SEARCHES

If your listing is shown in the results and a guest clicks on it to know more about it, this is considered as a good sign. However, do not send your friend to click on your listing a thousand times because Airbnb only counts clicks from different guests. Also, the ratio of bookings against clicks seems to be important for the algorithm. According to the platform “successful listings do a good job helping guests decide to book.”

LISTINGS

These are the most well-known factors: number of trips completed, reviews and quality of the ratings left by your guests, etc. Obviously, good reviews are essential for your performance. On the other hand, bad reviews “will not necessarily have a substantial impact on your ranking” as far as they stay in reasonable numbers.

Price is also significant as it is a big decision factor for guest when comparing listings. This is why your price strategy is the key to your success. If you need help with your pricing strategy, this is one of Vayoo’s main features.

IMPORTANT: the Superhost status itself does NOT boost your listing search results. However, the factors needed to become a Superhosts do.

If you search for homes on Airbnb, you will see that sometimes, new homes are showed on the first page. This is something the platform does to “make sure brand new hosts can get established successfully.”

 

GUEST BOOKING EXPERIENCE

What Airbnb wants is that travelers chose Airbnb over any other accommodation options. To ensure that, the platform encourages guests to make the booking process as easy as possible. How is this done?

 

Airbnb measures your response rate and response time. If you answer your guests’ requests within 24 hours, you will improve your ranking in search results.

 

If you are using the Request to Book option instead of Instant Book, you might reject some of the requests. The number of denied request is tracked by the platform. However, do not worry. You will not be penalized for just one rejection because Airbnb is “interested in broad patterns over weeks and months, rather than individual rejections.”

 

Airbnb started implementing it in 2016, and now most of the guests use it. Yes, we are talking about the instant book. The instant book is quicker and easier and therefore makes the booking experience better for the guests. So “Because of the high booking success for hosts and guests, Instant Book gives your listing a boost in searches." Nevertheless, if you decided to keep the Request to Book option and your listing does perform well on other booking experience factors, you can still do well in search ranking.

 

LOCATION

As unfair as it might sound, Airbnb’s algorithm gives priority to the most popular places within a city. According to them, “this helps guest find a listing for their trips, and also generates more bookings for (their) host community.” So what they do is simple - they analyze previous bookings in that city, select the top trending areas and give priority to the listings within them.

 

VISIBILITY IN SEARCH

Apart from the factors seen above, there are other reasons why your listing may not be shown in the search results.

 

  1. Activation day: it can take up to 24 hours to be shown from the moment you publish your listing,
  2. Minimum and maximum nights: if a guest is looking for a stay of 2 days and you have a minimum stay requirement of 3 days, your listing will obviously not be shown. The same is true of the opposite. Namely, if a guest is looking for a 3 weeks stay and you have a maximum of 2 weeks, you will be out of the search results.
  3. Long-term stays: to appear in search results for stays longer than 28 days, “it’s necessary to use a monthly discount on top of your base rate.”

GUEST BOOKING EXPERIENCE

What Airbnb wants is that travelers chose Airbnb over any other accommodation options. To ensure that, the platform encourages guests to make the booking process as easy as possible. How is this done?

Airbnb measures your response rate and response time. If you answer your guests’ requests within 24 hours, you will improve your ranking in search results.

If you are using the Request to Book option instead of Instant Book, you might reject some of the requests. The number of denied request is tracked by the platform. However, do not worry. You will not be penalized for just one rejection because Airbnb is “interested in broad patterns over weeks and months, rather than individual rejections.”

Airbnb started implementing it in 2016, and now most of the guests use it. Yes, we are talking about the instant book. The instant book is quicker and easier and therefore makes the booking experience better for the guests. So “Because of the high booking success for hosts and guests, Instant Book gives your listing a boost in searches." Nevertheless, if you decided to keep the Request to Book option and your listing does perform well on other booking experience factors, you can still do well in search ranking.

LOCATION

As unfair as it might sound, Airbnb’s algorithm gives priority to the most popular places within a city. According to them, “this helps guest find a listing for their trips, and also generates more bookings for (their) host community.” So what they do is simple - they analyze previous bookings in that city, select the top trending areas and give priority to the listings within them.

VISIBILITY IN SEARCH

Apart from the factors seen above, there are other reasons why your listing may not be shown in the search results.

  1. Activation day: it can take up to 24 hours to be shown from the moment you publish your listing,
  2. Minimum and maximum nights: if a guest is looking for a stay of 2 days and you have a minimum stay requirement of 3 days, your listing will obviously not be shown. The same is true of the opposite. Namely, if a guest is looking for a 3 weeks stay and you have a maximum of 2 weeks, you will be out of the search results.
  3. Long-term stays: to appear in search results for stays longer than 28 days, “it’s necessary to use a monthly discount on top of your base rate.”
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