I imagine many of you in the past have explored this detailed Q&A, where we asked the team behind Airbnb Search some of the most popular questions from the Community Center. We would like to go back to the team and ask them some more recent question on how Airbnb's search function works.
We will be including some frequently asked questions we have spotted, but we also wanted to check if you have any general search questions you would like them to answer.
What do you want to know about how Airbnb's search function works?
Looking forward to hearing from you.
@Lizzie The questions I have are about how guests use the search function. How many enter dates? Number of guests? How many use the price slider? How many specify home type? How many specify superhost?
I would assume that the more experienced a guest is with Airbnb, the more detailed they get with search filters. So I guess it would be difficult to answer the above questions with hard numbers. But maybe there is data showing the number of filters used in most searches. Most people use just two filters, for instance - after choosing a location, they enter dates and one other filter? That kind of thing.
I like to know how guests can find a POOL HOUSE to rent, it is not on the list with Airbnb, I had to go
under cottage, what is not correct. Can Airbnb fix it please. Thank you
@Lizzie I'd like to know why guests see different prices and different listings for the same dates and the same filters depending on whether they are using the app or the computer, and what browser they are using. There have even been guests here saying that they and their spouse were show different pricing when looking at the same listing, for the same dates, in the same browser, both sitting next to each other on their laptops.
I also like to know why my guests have told me that my place didn't come up until they upped the price filter to $20 more than I charge.
@Lizzie Here are some of my questions
(1) How does the map function work? When I put a location city in the search, the map contains an area of at least 100 miles in diameter. Therefore, some irrelevant properties not in the same city come to the first page in the search while many listings within the city are pushed down to second, third even further down.
(2) Some hosts posted that they declined a couple of requests and their listings since then were pushed to the third or forth page in the search result. Is there a penalty for declining booking requests or penalties for cancellation or responding late etc?
(3) What is the display price used on the list without a date range specified in the search results?
(4) What is the price used in the search ranking? some options, base price, price in the date range etc.
(5) Will it help to have Smart pricing on in the search ranking?
@Lizzie @Ann72 @Sarah977 I have been so frustrated by Airbnb's search algorithm. One of the best articles, (in my opinion), written about Airbnb's SEO states, "Airbnb is practicing 2009-era SEO" as opposed to 2019-era SEO. The article can be found here: https://www.sistrix.com/blog/2009-vs-2019-seo-how-hometogo-overtook-airbnb/ or Google the article title, "2009 vs 2019 SEO. How HomeToGo Overtook Airbnb" by Juan Gonzales.
After spending hours on the phone with Airbnb and being promised a non-existant return phone call by someone on their "technical" team, I gave up understanding how their search algorithm works. Of interest is, as @Sarah977 mentions, 2 or 3 people can be in the same location, using the same browser, etc and yet different results are displayed.
I did my own video after unsuccessfully attempting to bring my house up after limiting my search parameters here: https://vimeo.com/290062866.
I was told after getting my STR, (short term rental), permit that my home would come up in search more often as hosts who were "Superhosts" would lose their Superhost status if they did not conform to our new, (as of Feb 2019), STR permit requirements here in San Antonio. However, I have noticed that was absolutely NOT the truth as there are many local hosts here in San Antonio who do NOT have their STR permit and have not lost their Superhost status. According to Airbnb, Superhosts get brought up in search more often than those who do not have Superhost status.
At the end of the day, Airbnb is more focused optimizing for search, (i.e. their ability to make money), vs. focusing on the user or customer. I love what Dominik Schwartz, Chief Inbound Officer at HomeToGo, has to say about search: “The user is at the center. No tricks, no shortcuts because we don’t optimise for search machines, we optimise for people. Visibility is, so to speak, the side-effect of a great technical website and great content website.”
Personally, I feel that Airbnb needs to focus more on people; both hosts and guests needs.
I would propose a few ideas regarding the MAP VIEW:
So, I've summarised the questions that you have shared so far. What do you think?
What is the display price used on the list without a date range specified in the search results?
Will it help to have Smart pricing on in the search ranking?
One more question, @Lizzie, if someone has a disgruntled guest, can that guest "flag" your listing? If they flag a listing, is that home demoted in search results or taken out of search until whatever reason they flagged it for is checked out? Also, does someone actually have to have stayed in your home in order to flag it, or can anyone flag a listing?
Why do our listings not come up in general months ahead listings available but do when specific dates are entered to view listings?
Is there any chance of having the view map of available listings in one area simplified to specifically look at listings in one location rather than going through say known suburbs?
Not everyone knows suburb names where to look.
Sometimes the map view comes up other times it only shows what's on xyz page, why is that?
I'm sure others try to find where there listings are positioned in searches that way to.
Thanks @Lizzie and ABB for starting this topic
I am not sure if there is a reason to split the search for parking a car - but my own experience is telling me that there is a reason to do that. So there is a Free parking on the street, Free parking in a garage and Free parking in a back yard.
I have the question - how often Free parking comes in the search?
Have any of you noticed how Guests who look through "Amenities" fail to pick up that whilst there's Laptop friendly workspace that it doesn't necessary equate to having Wifi access?
I had 4 Guests in a row who assumed because I've a Laptop friendly worksspace that there was Wifi available - 3 of them marked me down on 'accuracy' much to my annoyance as I make it clear there's no Wifi.