POS Matching Rules

Hotel Ads matches an end-user to a Point of Sale (POS) that is defined in the Points of Sale file (or in the Point of Sale Editor). If an end-user does not match any of the defined POSes, then the ad does not participate in the auction. This results in a missed opportunity that the Point of Sale Coverage Report estimates for you.

Criteria

Google matches a user to the most appropriate POS by using the following rules:

  1. The main matching criteria for your POSes are: (* - locale criteria)
    • country*
    • currency*
    • language*
    • device
  2. The locale criterion will first try to match the end-user. If there is no match, the locale of the hotel being searched is used to find a match.
  3. If a criterion is not declared, it will implicitly match to all available values.
  4. An end-user or hotel must match all four criteria of a POS definition for there to be a match. For example, if the currency, country, and device match, but the language does not, then the POS is not a match.
  5. It is possible that multiple POS definitions will match. In that case:
    • One with better match quality is used. For more information, see Priority for Multiple POS.
    • For similar match quality, the one that occurs first in the POS file is used.

Setting up matching

Each criteria can match in three ways:

  1. Unspecified (*) - Match to all applicable values.
  2. Allowed (yes) - Match to listed values, never match to all other applicable values.
  3. Not-Allowed (never) - "Never" match to listed values, match to all other applicable values.

Implicit matches: 1 and 3 are eligible for implicit matches, when applicable values are used.

Explicit matches: 2 and 3 are eligible for explicit matching for the listed values.

When you want to exclude certain countries, currencies, or languages, you should explicitly set their match status to "never". You can combine 2 and 3 to describe the abilities of your website. Refer to the examples below.

Exceptions

To avoid confusion, we recommend using only allowed devices while defining device matching. For instance:

  • If a POS is defined for mobile-only, it will never show on desktop/tablet.
  • If a POS is defined for desktop, it will never show on mobile. It will show on tablet, though, even if you explicitly disallow tablet. One way to get around this is to set a high negative bid multiplier for tablet.
  • If a POS is defined for tablet, it will never show on mobile. It will show on desktop unless explicitly disallowed.

Examples

This section shows some common examples of simple POS definitions.

Standard

<PointOfSale id="pos-usd">
  <!-- Explicitly allow US Dollars -->
  <Match status="yes" currency="USD"/>
  <URL>www.google.com/hotel-id=34876&checkin-date=2018-05-01&checkout-date=2018-05-05&num-adults=2</URL>
</PointOfSale>
Multiple

<PointOfSale id="pos-us">
  <!-- Explicitly allow US and Dollars -->
  <Match status="yes" currency="USD"/>
  <Match status="yes" country="US"/>
  <URL>www.google.com/hotel-id=34876&checkin-date=2018-05-01&checkout-date=2018-05-05&num-adults=2</URL>
</PointOfSale>

<PointOfSale id="pos-uk">
  <!-- Explicitly allow US and Dollars -->
  <Match status="yes" currency="GBR"/>
  <Match status="yes" country="UK"/>
  <URL>www.google.com/hotel-id=34876&checkin-date=2018-05-01&checkout-date=2018-05-05&num-adults=2</URL>
</PointOfSale>
Country

Show ads only in Japan. All other countries implicitly match unless explicitly disallowed.

<PointOfSale id='pos-jp'>
  <!-- Explicitly match on Japan -->
  <Match status='yes' country='JP'/>

  <!-- List common countries to exclude -->
  <Match status='never' country='US'/>
  <Match status='never' country='FR'/>
  ...

  <URL>www.google.com/hotel-id=34876&checkin-date=2018-05-01&checkout-date=2018-05-05&num-adults=2</URL>
</PointOfSale>

When defining a POS to match a single country, you typically exclude 10 to 20 countries that yield the highest impressions (as shown in the Hotel Ads Center), and include only the one(s) you want to match.

Device

Show ads only on mobile. The device criteria only matches a value if it is explicitly defined.

<PointOfSale id='pos-mobile'>
  <!-- Explicitly match on mobile only -->
  <Match status='yes' device="mobile"/>

  <URL>www.google.com/hotel-id=34876&checkin-date=2018-05-01&checkout-date=2018-05-05&num-adults=2</URL>
</PointOfSale>
Currency

Show ads for end-users whose currency is Euros but not US dollars. All other currencies match implicitly unless explicitly disallowed.

<PointOfSale id="pos-eur">
  <!-- Explicitly allow Euros -->
  <Match status="yes" currency="EUR"/>

  <!-- Explicitly disallow US dollars -->
  <Match status="never" currency="USD"/>

  <URL>www.google.com/hotel-id=34876&checkin-date=2018-05-01&checkout-date=2018-05-05&num-adults=2</URL>
</PointOfSale>
Language

Show ads only for English speaking users.

<PointOfSale id='pos-en'>
  <!-- Explicitly match on English -->
  <Match status='yes' language='en'/>

  <!-- List common languages to exclude -->
  <Match status=’never’ language=’es’/>
  <Match status=’never’ language=’fr’/>
  <Match status=’never’ language=’jp’/>
  ...

  <URL>www.google.com/hotel-id=34876&checkin-date=2018-05-01&checkout-date=2018-05-05&num-adults=2</URL>
</PointOfSale>

When defining a POS to match a single language, you typically exclude 10 to 20 languages that yield the highest impressions (as shown in the Hotel Ads Center), and include only the one(s) you want to match.

Multiple Countries

Show ads preferably in the US and UK (but may match on another country if there aren’t any other POS definitions).

<PointOfSale id='pos-us-uk'>
  <!-- Explicitly match on the US and/or UK -->
  <Match status='yes' country='US'/>
  <Match status='yes' country='UK'/>

  <URL>www.google.com/hotel-id=34876&checkin-date=2018-05-01&checkout-date=2018-05-05&num-adults=2</URL>
</PointOfSale>
Country + Language

Show ads only in Japan for only English-speaking users. All countries and languages implicitly match unless explicitly disallowed.

<PointOfSale id='pos-jp-en'>
  <!-- Explicitly match on Japan -->
  <Match status='yes' country='JP'/>

  <!-- List common countries to exclude -->
  <Match status=’never’ country=’US’/>
  <Match status=’never’ country=’FR’/>
  ...

  <!-- Explicitly match on English -->
  <Match status='yes' language='en'/>

  <!-- List common languages to exclude -->
  <Match status=’never’ language=’jp’/>
  <Match status=’never’ language=’fr’/>
  ...

  <URL>www.google.com/hotel-id=34876&checkin-date=2018-05-01&checkout-date=2018-05-05&num-adults=2</URL>
</PointOfSale>

Priority for multiple POS

It is possible that multiple POS definitions will match based on criteria. In this case, Google ranks them based on the following priority:

  • A user condition match is preferred over a hotel condition match. For example, if one POS matches only on the user's currency, but another matches only on the hotel's currency, Google chooses the POS that matches the user currency.
  • Criteria ranking is listed below. For example, if one POS matches only on the user's currency, but another matches only on the user device, Google chooses the POS that matches the user currency.
    1. Country
    2. Currency
    3. Language
    4. Device
  • An explicit match is preferred over an implicit match For example, if one POS matches explicitly to user's country, but another matches only implicitly to user's country, Google chooses the POS that explicitly matches.

If two definitions with the same priorities match, then Google chooses the one that occurs first in the Point of Sale file.

Filtering Points of Sale

To filter a subset of eligible POSes for a particular hotel, you can use the <AllowablePointsOfSale> element in a Transaction message.

The following example excerpt from a Transaction message allows the hotel to only match "pos-mobile" and "pos-en":

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<Transaction timestamp="2017-04-24T20:44:56-04:00" id="42">
  <Result>
    <Property>052213</Property>
    ...
    <-- Allow pos-mobile and pos-en to match. All others will not match. -->
    <AllowablePointsOfSale>
      <PointOfSale id="pos-mobile"/>
      <PointOfSale id="pos-en"/>
    </AllowablePointsOfSale>
  </Result>
</Transaction>

Points of Sale not listed in the <AllowablePointsOfSale> block will not match. If you exclude the <AllowablePointsOfSale> block from your Transaction message, all Points of Sale are eligible to match.

You can also use the <AllowablePointsOfSale> element if you would like to opt-in or opt-out any specific hotels from running on the Click to Call POS.