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AirBNB search ranking

Discussion in 'Technology' started by Shredder, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. Shredder

    Shredder Member

    I have long wondered what exactly causes listings to popup higher in the search results than others. It used to be that I thought it was related to number of reviews/quality. Over a year ago that changed. At one point I inquired why my listing was appearing pages behind new listings that had far less reviews. Here was the response from AirBnB via email:


    Search results are customized for Airbnb travelers, matching them to the listings that will best meet their needs. In order to allow guests who are looking for a space just like yours to find it quickly, the search results are targeted to their search criteria. Due to the varying needs of travelers and the activity of the hosts on the site, the placement of listings in search results can fluctuate greatly from one search to the next, even within the same day.

    The search results take many factors into account, such as the price in relation to other listings, quality of reviews and ratings, and host responsiveness. Keep in mind, since many aspects are being considered at once, looking at just one factor (like number of reviews) is not a good way to compare your listing to others. The best thing you can do as a host is set a competitive price for the type of listing you have to offer, keep your calendar updated, respond quickly to guests, and continue to be hospitable.

    Just like airlines, hotels, and others in the travel industry, activity on Airbnb is closely tied with global travel trends. The number of inquiries you receive is often contingent upon the travel season. If you see a decrease in inquiries during a particular month, it's most likely due to this seasonality, and it's affecting all the hosts around you as well. The best thing you can do to prepare for high and low seasons is to adjust your nightly rate accordingly in as far advance as possible.

    I know this is not what you expect to hear, and I did check your listing and comprehend your confusion, as it indeed looks great and you seem like an exemplary host. If you want, I can send you some tips for promoting your listing in the search results and optimising it accordingly. Just confirm to me that you're interested please, as I didn't want to overwhelm you with a too long message.

    I count on your understanding regarding this. Please let me know how I can assist you further.
     
  2. Rhonda

    Rhonda Member

    They just sent out this info via email this month:

    How are search results determined?
    We often hear from hosts that they want a better understanding of how Airbnb determines the ordering of search results. Search ranking is a complex process that takes into account many factors. Because we take so many factors into account, comparing listings based on just a few characteristics doesn’t tell the whole story. We’re constantly working on improving search to better match guests and hosts, so the factors we use and how we use them can change over time.

    Still, there’s an underlying principle that guides our approach to search: we want to reward hosts that deliver a great experience to guests. This means that as a host, you have control over many of the factors we’ll explain below. The way you list your space and look after your guests can have an impact on where you appear in search compared to other listings. But guest preferences also play an important role in how listings are displayed in search results, so you shouldn’t expect your listing to appear the same way in search for every guest on Airbnb.

    At a high level, you can break down the factors that affect search into a few categories:

    Quality of the listing. How appealing is the listing to guests and how good is the trip experience the host provides?
    Ease of booking. How reliably and easily can a guest book the space?
    Guest preferences. How well does the listing match the specific preferences and criteria of the person searching?
    Before we go into more detail, it's important to reiterate that we are constantly working on improving the search algorithms to better match guests and hosts. We’ll update this article periodically in an effort to continue being as transparent as possible about how search works on Airbnb.

    1. Quality of the listing

    Booking appeal. Guests want high-quality, accurate listings. If guests see your listing in search and click through to learn more, this can improve your search performance in the future. Similarly, if guests frequently try to book your place after viewing your listing page, this can also have positive effects. Some simple ways you can edit your listing to improve its appeal:
    Make the title and description attractive and informative.
    Clearly explain what makes your space unique, including any amenities you offer or rules you have.
    Put your best photo first—this is the guest’s first impression of your space on the search results page.
    Make sure your price is competitive with similar listings in your area.
    Reviews. We are always striving to highlight the hosts that provide the best experience for their guests. Both the quantity and quality of reviews from past guests can impact your search performance. Learn more.
    Photos. Your photos should be high quality and accurately depict your space. A good guideline is to have at least one photo of every room available to the guest. We offer free professional photography in many locations. Getting professional photography can also help you in search.
    Verifications. Verifying your account helps build trust with potential guests. The more verifications the better, but at a minimum be sure to verify your phone number and email address.
    2. Ease of booking

    Responding to guests. It’s important to respond to all contacts coming from potential guests. Guests expect a response within 24 hours. The more consistently you respond to guests, the better your listing can do in search. Learn more.
    Speed of response. How quickly you respond to guests can also play a role in search. Travelers often contact multiple hosts, so a quick response can make the difference between getting a booking or not. Learn more about response rates.
    Updated calendar. It’s important to be sure your calendar is up to date and accurately reflects your actual availability, so guests don’t contact you or attempt to book for dates that aren’t available. Learn more.
    Acceptance rate. Frequently pre-approving and accepting your booking requests can improve your performance in search. If you can’t accept a request, doing your guest the courtesy of officially choosing Decline can have a better effect than simply sending a message or not responding at all.
    Cancellation. Having a trip canceled is a very negative experience for a guest, so we encourage hosts to avoid canceling if at all possible. If you do cancel on a guest, it can negatively impact where your listing appears in search. This negative impact can go away over time if no further cancellations occur.
    Instant Book. Turning on Instant Book may help you in search because guests won’t have to wait for a response or worry about getting rejected. It’s also a great way to simplify the process of managing your inquiries.
    We understand that new hosts may not have had a chance to get many inquiries and bookings yet, so we also take this into account.

    3. Guest preferences

    Location relevance. Guests can search broadly at the city level or narrow into specific neighborhoods, so we try to show search results that are most relevant to their location preferences. We may use past booking information to determine which locations are most relevant for a given search.
    Social connections. If a traveler has friends in common with a host or went to the same school, we may show that host more prominently to that traveler. This is because they may have more in common and are more likely a good match. In order to benefit from social connections, be sure to connect your Airbnb account to your Facebook account.
    Personalized results. We try to understand a guest’s preferences and trip characteristics, so search results may vary depending on the person or the specifics of their trip.
     
  3. Kiko

    Kiko New Member

    I would assume that they make the search results to get users to book and for them to make the most money.
     
    Shredder likes this.
  4. Shredder

    Shredder Member

    Im wondering if only having 3 photos makes a difference on my search ranking.
     
  5. Matt S

    Matt S Active Member

    I try not to stress over things that are out of my control. It would be useful to know how to improve a listings search results. @Shredder you should try to add more photos and see if your search result improves.
     
  6. Kiko

    Kiko New Member

    "We offer free professional photography in many locations. Getting professional photography can also help you in search."
     
  7. Rosatti

    Rosatti Member

    There is definitely an element of mystery to the search rankings. Here is a search I did in SF. The property thats lower in the search has more reviews, better reviews, lower price, instant booking and is closer to downtown SF.

    Untitled-10.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

    Rhonda likes this.
  8. Rosatti

    Rosatti Member

    Looking at it even more closely the first one in the search rankings:
    Response rate: 93%
    Response time: within a few hours

    and the second one (lower):
    Response rate: 100%
    Response time: within an hour

    One difference I did notice is that the listing that appears higher has a cleaning fee. So there base price is lower. There price is $50 + $20 cleaning fee whereas the lower ranked listing is $68 with no cleaning fee.
     
    Rhonda likes this.
  9. lyly

    lyly New Member

    At a high level, you can break down the factors that affect search into a few categories:

    Quality of the listing. How appealing is the listing to guests and how good is the trip experience the host provides?
    Ease of booking. How reliably and easily can a guest book the space?
    Guest preferences. How well does the listing match the specific preferences and criteria of the person searching?
    Before we go into more detail, it's important to reiterate that we are constantly working on improving the search algorithms to better match guests and hosts. We’ll update this article periodically in an effort to continue being as transparent as possible about how search works on Airbnb.

    Sounds like they aren't ranking them at a high level in this particular instance.
     
    Rhonda likes this.
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