9 Replies Latest reply: Aug 15, 2019 5:58 PM by ha-moderator-christi RSS

    Search Ranking Question

    bonesxxx Active Contributor

      I did a sample search on the nearest town to my VR on HA.com and my cabin shows in position #18.

       

      My question is this:

       

      Why are there 9 non-PP (but closer) properties ahead of me?  I am guessing that distance trumps PP status?

       

      BUT, there is one non-PP property that is 22 miles away listed above me AND I am only 9 miles away.

       

      AND, there is a PP listing above me that is 26 miles away.  None have more 5 star reviews than me... I have the most at 79 to their 19 and 12.

       

      Am I crazy for trying to make sense of this? (I have no filters on or dates selected, just an open search)

        • Re: Search Ranking Question
          hickmanhideaway Contributor

          We have asked this question many times and have not gotten a real answer. We have 96 reviews and a 4.9 rating. You would think that the ratings would be a bit more weighted comparing someone with 96 reviews to 6 reviews since there is more of a chance to get a 4 star review than someone with just 6 reviews. Some people have told me they never give a 5 star review. Wish they would not review at all then. But when a property with a 4.6 and not a PP is way above us, that does not make any sense.

          • Re: Search Ranking Question
            linky17 Active Contributor

            Are these other listings IB?  In my market, IB as well as Evolve-type 'managed' listings tend to out-rank all others, even in spite of generally poor traveler reviews of the latter.  However, this is not the rule: other properties -- whether or not they are PP -- are mixed in, too.  As are those with pretty full calendars.

              • Re: Search Ranking Question
                bonesxxx Active Contributor

                I forgot about IB.  Didn't look at that but I am IB so that wouldn't affect the fact that I am appearing below non-PP homes and homes that are twice as far away from the target.

                 

                It's a mystery to me that anyone finds my cabin at all...

                  • Re: Search Ranking Question
                    margaret CommunityAmbassador

                    Use a device that you have never used before to search or ask a friend or family member who has never searched for your property to do it for you. Clearing cache and cookies can help but I have found a visit to Staples or Best Buy or any place you can test out a laptop shows my rank very differently than I see on my devices.

                    • Re: Search Ranking Question
                      linky17 Active Contributor

                      Re: your distance theory?  I've got nothing.  My home is in a different STATE (it's a mid-West, river city) from the primary search/destination that Vrbo uses as the central marker.  Only when/if folks zoom-in on the map (which will include MY state) > I'm first page.  Which is good because, in truth, mine is closer to said city -- and walkable to MLB/NFL stadiums, etc. @ a 1/2 mile -- than 90% that are over the river.

                       

                      It IS a mystery.  And I empathize with all who are in markets more expansive than mine, and maybe (?) yours.

                  • Re: Search Ranking Question
                    twomoreyears Senior Contributor

                    I believe it is 60% about price and 25% availability for the next couple of months, with the other components not really important.  Our next-door neighbor sleeps the same number of people, but is one-third the price and has a far-more-open calendar.  We get booked - through VRBO - three times as much as they do, have 10 times the number of reviews, are four times their square footage, and are IB and PP, but they rank 40 positions higher than we rank.

                    • Re: Search Ranking Question
                      feibus Senior Contributor

                      My two properties were ranked 450 and 170 last week (which was reversed from a few weeks before, when they were 170 and 250 respectively).  Out of nearly 1900 properties.  I was still showing at least one on page 1 of a search for open dates, so who cared, right?


                      This week, they're 2 and 5.   Nothing really changed, I got a couple of bookings last week, but that's normal for this time of year (we get about 30% of our spring bookings in September when the kids go back to school).

                       

                      It's all a black box.  Best to just do what they tell you: accept all bookings, make guests responsible for canceling any bookings, get your guests to leave 5* reviews.  Other than that, no idea what goes into the black box.

                      • Re: Search Ranking Question
                        twomoreyears Senior Contributor

                        Don't waste your time trying to figure it out.  I've started sleeping better after I gave up trying to solve the puzzle.

                         

                        We were #1 8 months ago, then fell to #80.  Two weeks ago we plummeted to #100, then #200, then #300, then popped back up to #100, all during the course of less than two weeks.  Three days ago, we were up to #2, and just now we are #7.  Same as feibus.

                         

                        I suspect they continually tweak the algorithm to see what the best equation is for each market to maximize their income.  I would if I were running their business.

                        • Re: Search Ranking Question
                          ha-moderator-christi HomeAway Employee

                          I know everyone worries about sort and where you rank in sort. Truth is most serious traveler search with dates and generally start figuring out a few filters to help narrow down what they are looking for. Vrbo is constantly changing to optimize traffic to the site algorithms change which is why it's not easy to determine. My two cents here I wouldn't worry too much about sort if you are booked and getting the types of guest you want then you are doing the right things. If you're not getting bookings or you're getting booking requests from guests that don't match your property then I would recommend calling CS to review your listing or even have your fellow owners here take a look sometimes having someone not invested in the property review the listing can do a world of good.