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    How Airbnb search works

    Find out what factors impact search and how to help boost your ranking.
    By Airbnb on Dec. 1, 2019
    4 min read
    Updated May 13, 2021

    Highlights

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

    • To help boost your ranking: price competitively, and accept more bookings

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

    • Discover more in our complete guide to setting up a successful listing

    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 traveller 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 considers more than 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 wishlists, it will also rank higher, and those guests will be likely to find your listing again in future searches.

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

    Learn how to update your price

    3. Availability
    Your listing will appear in more search results if your calendar has lots of dates open, or if you have Instant Book turned on. The more open dates you offer, the more chances your listing will have to appear in various searches—and if you use Instant Book, your listing will appear whenever guests search for Instant Book listings in your area.

    Learn how to turn on Instant Book

    Tip: Responding to requests within 24 hours can help improve your ranking in search.

    Other ways to boost your ranking

    • Make a fabulous first impression: 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 travellers, the more likely you are to rank higher 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 can help improve 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 Superhosts’ 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 this could happen:

    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 traveller when searching for your listing: use specific dates, zoom in on the map, or check for specific amenities using filters, or add a price filter.

    Tips for finding your 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
    • If you have Instant Book turned on and require that guests have previous positive reviews before they book, you will need to be logged in and have positive reviews as an Airbnb guest in order to find your listing in search
    • Remember that every guest sees a slightly personalized feed, based on their past Airbnb browsing history—and searching on a different device or in an incognito window might change your search results
    • If your listing has a special feature—for example, if you allow pets—try adding that filter to your search; you might not be at the top of a general search in your area, but you might be closer to the top of a search for places that have that special feature
    • Similarly, if your listing can accommodate a large number of guests (like 10 or more), it may appear higher in searches for spaces that can house, for example, eight guests, and lower in searches for spaces for just one or two guests
    Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.

    Highlights

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

    • To help boost your ranking: price competitively, and accept more bookings

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

    • Discover more in our complete guide to setting up a successful listing
    Airbnb
    Dec. 1, 2019
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