You want to be on page 1 of airbnb search results to stand a chance of getting a booking, ideally the top of page one. If you buried down on page 54 then no matter how nice your place is in real life no one will ever know it exists.
Airbnb has finally revealed what determines how your listing ranks in the search results. Many expert airbnb hosts believe there are more factors than this but its a good place to start.
1. Quality of the listing
Booking appeal. Guests want high quality and accurate listings. If guests see your listing in search and click through to learn more, this can improve your search performance in the future. Similarly, if guests frequently try to book your place after viewing your listing page, this can also have positive effects. Some simple ways you can improve the appeal of your listing:
• Make the title and description attractive and informative.
• Clearly explain what makes your space unique, including any amenities you offer or rules you have.
• Put your best photo first—this is the guest’s first impression of your space on the search results page.
• Make sure your price is competitive with similar listings in your area.
Reviews. We are always striving to highlight the hosts that provide the best experience for their guests. Both the quantity and quality of reviews from past guests can impact your search performance.
Photos. Your photos should be high quality and accurately depict your space. A good guideline is to have at least one photo of every room available to the guest. We offer free professional photography in many locations. Getting professional photography can also help you in search.
Verifications. Verifying your account helps build trust with potential guests. The more verifications the better, but at a minimum be sure to verify your phone number and email address.
2. Ease of booking
Responding to guests. It’s important to respond to all contacts coming from potential guests. Hosts are expected to respond to booking requests within 24 hours. The more consistently you respond to guests, the better your listing can do in search.
Speed of response. How quickly you respond to guests can play a role in search. Also, travelers often contact multiple hosts, so a quick response can make the difference between getting a booking or not.
Updated calendar. It’s important to be sure your calendar is up to date and accurately reflects your actual availability, so guests don’t contact you or attempt to book for dates that aren’t available.
Acceptance rate. Frequently pre-approving and accepting your booking requests can improve your performance in search. If you can’t accept a request, doing your guest the courtesy of officially choosing Decline will have a better effect than simply sending a message or not responding at all.
Cancellation. Having a trip canceled is a very negative experience for a guest, so we encourage hosts to avoid canceling if at all possible. If you do cancel on a guest, it can negatively impact where your listing appears in search. This negative impact can go away over time if no further cancellations occur.
Instant Book. Turning on Instant Book may help you in search because guests won’t have to wait for a response or worry about getting rejected. It’s also a great way to simplify the process of managing your inquiries.
We understand that new hosts may not have had a chance to get many inquiries and bookings yet, so we also take this into account.
3. Guest preferences
Location relevance. Guests can search broadly at the city level or narrow into specific neighborhoods, so we try to show search results that are most relevant to their location preferences. We may use past booking information to determine which locations are most relevant for a given search.
Social connections. If a traveler has friends in common with a host or went to the same school, we may show that host more prominently to that traveler. This is because they may have more in common and are more likely a good match. In order to benefit from social connections, be sure to connect your Airbnb account to your Facebook account.
Personalized results. We try to understand a guest’s preferences and trip characteristics, so search results may vary depending on the person or the specifics of their trip.
Other factors that we suspect will positivly affect your position in the search results:
- Positive feedback – getting those 5 starts
- Having more reviews – 100 reviews is better than 1
- The number of completed trips – not everyone leaves a review but the more trips completed without a hitch the better
- Your acceptance rate – how many enquires you receive that actually turn into bookings
- How often you update your calendar/how recently you updated your calendar – the more you touch your calendar the more airbnb will assume it is up to date
- Amenities – what your listing offers (kitchen, washing machine, smoke alarms, etc)
- Having a detailed description – a too short description could be missing vital information
- Guidebook – adding local restaurants, shops, places to see, etc.
- Distance from the centre
Other positives might be
- Length of time a listing has been active
- Your length of time as a Airbnb member
What might cause negative ranking
- Pets on the property
- Negative feedback
- Not responding to customer enquiries/bookings within the standard time period