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    How Airbnb search works

    Find out which factors impact search and how to boost your ranking.
    By Airbnb on 5 Mar 2020
    3 min read

    Highlights

    • Airbnb uses over 100 signals to decide how to order listings in search results

    • To boost your ranking: turn on Instant Book, price competitively, and accept more bookings

    • To find your listing: Match your search criteria to your listing's booking settings, requirements, and available dates

    You’ve created and published a fabulous listing, and now your friends and family want to check it out. How do they find it? And among all the listings out there, how does Airbnb’s search ranking algorithm decide which ones to show a traveler searching in your area? Learn what factors influence your listing’s search ranking, and understand how to make sure you can find your own listing in search.

    Airbnb search basics

    Airbnb’s search algorithm looks at over 100 signals to decide how to order listings in search results. It’s designed to match guests to the listings they want, based on millions of examples of searches that have led to bookings in the past. It’s also personalized for each guest based on factors like location, previous trips, and saved listings. Not every signal is weighed equally, and you don’t need to have a perfect listing or an unbeatable location for your listing to rank well.

    3 key factors that impact your ranking

    1. How attractive your listing is to guests 
    Airbnb’s algorithm considers how often guests click on your listing, how often guests attempt to contact you from your listing page, and how many booking requests you accept. If lots of guests add your listing to their wish lists, it will also rank higher, and those guests will be likely to see your listing again in future searches.

    2. Price
    Airbnb takes into account how competitive your listing price is compared with other similar properties in your market. The search algorithm considers your total price before taxes, including any discounts or additional fees. Setting a competitive price can help you get a boost in search, since the best-priced listings in any given region tend to be listed higher.

    Learn how to update your price

    3. Instant Book
    Airbnb data shows that—all other things being equal—travelers prefer to use Instant Book because they can book quickly and avoid possibly being rejected. Because of the high booking success for hosts and guests, Instant Book tends to boost your listing in searches. But Instant Book is only one of more than a hundred factors influencing your search ranking. You can absolutely rank well in search without turning on Instant Book.

    Learn how to turn on Instant Book

    Tip: Responding to requests within 24 hours helps your ranking in search.

    Other ways to boost your ranking

    • Make a fabulous first impression: Make sure your first photo is a bright, high-quality, horizontal image of your listing. The more clicks you get from curious travelers, the higher you’ll rank in search results over time. An enticing and realistic photo is a great way to show off your space.
    • Be responsive: Responding to requests within 24 hours helps your ranking in search.
    • Accept bookings: Because getting rejected while trying to book is a poor experience for guests, repeatedly declining booking requests can negatively affect your search ranking. That said, it’s occasionally necessary to decline a booking.
    • Be a Superhost: Although Airbnb doesn’t give an explicit boost to Superhosts in search, the factors required to become a Superhost—like positive ratings, high response rate, and being regularly booked—do tend to help your listing rank higher. Guests also have the option to filter their search results to display only Superhost listings.

    Finding your listing in search

    Airbnb community support specialists get a lot of questions from new hosts who say they can’t find their listings in search. Here are two reasons why:

    1. There's a publishing delay. There’s usually a delay between the time you publish a listing and when it shows up in search results. If you don’t find your listing within 24 hours, you can contact community support to find out why.

    2. Your search is too general. Broad, city-level searches with no dates can generate thousands of results, and your listing might not appear high on the list. But this is not how real guests usually use the website. So think like a traveler when searching for your listing: use specific dates, zoom in on the map, or check for specific amenities using filters.

    Tips for finding your own listing in search

    • Make sure your search criteria match the settings and requirements you’ve established for your listing
    • Check whether your dates meet your minimum-night requirements and that you’re searching for dates that are available on your calendar
    • Make sure your search doesn’t include more guests than the maximum number you’ve indicated in your settings that your space can accommodate
    • If you have Instant Book turned on and require that guests have previous positive reviews, you will need to be logged in and have positive reviews as an Airbnb guest in order to find your listing in search

    Highlights

    • Airbnb uses over 100 signals to decide how to order listings in search results

    • To boost your ranking: turn on Instant Book, price competitively, and accept more bookings

    • To find your listing: Match your search criteria to your listing's booking settings, requirements, and available dates

    Airbnb
    5 Mar 2020
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