Searching by a town name should produce listings in THAT town!

Status changed to: Archived

I just went in and searched for my home via my small home town, and all three of the Airbnb houses in our tiny town were located several pages back, starting as the 41st property in the specific town name search!  All three Superhost houses - with plenty of reviews - were lost, including mine, behind dozens of homes that are located as much as 50 miles away!  I do understsand why Airbnb would include other homes in the vicinity (although it still hasn't figured out how to do nearby locations very well.)  But, if a Guest is looking for a specific town, then the properties in that town should show first!  Hosts don't list their town names in their title, so Airbnb is not only promoting mis-information, it is punishing those very properties who should show up when people look for a specific placename.  We've been concerned with why we have had very few Views and Inquiries or Requests, when we've been so busy since opening our second home up 18 months ago, and it is because we are multiple pages back in our own home town that has only 3 Airbnb properties!  AND WE ARE SUPERHOSTS WITH 5 STAR RATINGS!  How fair is that!

Andrew in
Windermere, United Kingdom
Level 10

I have the same issue. 


If you search on Windermere UK any dates you get 10 properties then Barcelona or at another time Kuala Lumpur. Both great places I have been to both. 


However no use if a guest wants to stay in Windermere in the beautiful English Lake District which is now a World Heritage site. 


Mind you @Lois & Darryl have given me an idea. 

Mary in
Topanga, CA
Level 1

I just phoned Airbnb to complain about the same issue, and was told to give feedback. The service person thought I would get a callback, but no, this is just information for Airbnb; they are no going to respond. 


This is what I wrote before finding out I wouldn't get a response:



I searched properties in my town to find the public listing url for a neighbor. I finally found my Topanga property on page 5!!! after a large number of listings for Malibu which is twenty minutes drive from Topanga, and even after one or two in "Santa Monica, near LAX" (the airport) which is half an hour + from Topanga.

A prospective guest would be likely to think, after seeing so many Malibu properties listed, that there were no more Topanga homes, and give up the search. And page 5 was what happened when I put in "Entire home", not a general search. My property might have been on page 10 in a general search of Topanga.

I expect you will say the order of listings is computer-generated, but my assertion is that Malibu properties should not be listed before ones that are local to the searcher's inquiry.

I look forward to hearing what can be done about this unfair practice. I am a super-host but no wonder I am hardly getting any inquiries now the high season is over!"


Airbnb *should* be trying to fix this world-wide (it appears) problem. It is unfair practice for the potential guests, and very unfair on people in small towns.


Robert And Nancy in
Norton, MA
Level 10

This has been an issue for years.  When we first started (8/2013) I noticed when I searched around our listing came up for Boston.  That is 40 miles away.  We were wondering why Guests would ask the question "How close to the T are you?" 


Now in our search for our small town Providence, RI listings come up before the actual town.  That is a 20 minute commute from here and a whole different state.  When I questioned Airbnb about it several years ago their reply was that they have the best and most sophisticated search system in the business.  We have been hit on location because of that best and sophisticated search system.  We now assure in emails to all Guests our location.   We really want to make sure that Guest don't think they are staying near Boston when they are not.  I now have a list of cities right outside of Boston that I give to those guests.  Airbnb should really look into how they can improve their search system.

Jim & Marcia in
Vancouver, WA
Level 10

Ditto. We're in Vancouver, Washington and often properties in Portland, Oregon display first. Very annoying, not to mention the potential for missed bookings. A guest should be able to narrow their search to listings in a specific town.

Aunt Betty in
Los Angeles, CA
Level 3

OMG... I’ve been complains to Airbnb about this for years and years! My guess is that they throw in random listings in other areas because these listings are slow and haven’t had much activity because they are in a town adjacent that most guests wouldn’t search for. 

Mary in
Topanga, CA
Level 1

The last time I had occasion to call Customer Service a few days ago I had a very helpful assistant. So I asked her to find out about this phenomenom. She came back after a while saying what I have seen earlier in this discussion, that it is the way their search is set up. And I think I read here that Airbnb claim they have the most soohisticated search engine. Well frankly, poppycock! If they think that they should change their coders!


This is why I started posting here. If they care about having happy customers and hosts, maybe, just maybe they will listen in the end. 

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