Am I being penalised for closing over winter?

Because of our location and access difficulties in winter my rental has been closed since the beginning of the year. I am currently installing a new bathroom and new carpets and will open again on 1st April. I’ve been a superhost for 4 years but this year my bookings are down by about 40% and I am wondering if I am being penalised for closing for 3 months. There are certainly more properties available locally now but with over 200 5* reviews I am really not sure what is going on. I do have bookings throughout the year but far less than previously and April and May are very slow. I would be very grateful for any advice and suggestions. Here is a link to my listing - . Thank you.

The chances are pretty good that other listings are coming up in search results before yours. It’s not that you’re being penalised as such, it’s that Airbnb’s search system wants to show guests properties that are easy to book and 99.9% of the time available.

This is just good sense from their point of view really.

It’s not that a human being has decided to punish you in some way, it’s just how their search works. I imagine that guests are pleased that it works that way!

We are on snooze at the moment because of a huge amount of renovation going on on the exterior of the building. That will mess up our search engine results so we’re planning a massive social media/article/blogging blitz for when we’re back.


Thanks - I’ll do the same when the work is all finished!

1 Like

This is interesting. Several weeks ago, I blocked off all of June and July because I was planning to do some renovations to the patio and backyard of my listing as well as a family vacation during that time, and it’s the slow season for Phoenix. I’ve only had two reservations since. I allow only 90-day advance bookings, but I have no reservations at all for the entire month of May. I didn’t expect to be fully booked, but I didn’t expect zero, either.

Here’s what’s weird: If I go to a random computer and search for a listing in my area in May for 8 people, mine comes up near the top of the list. BUT, only if I start the search from the Airbnb home page. I tried searching for a listing suitable 4 people, and then changing the criteria in the search to 8 people, but then my listing never even shows up. WTF?

As King Lear said, (I think?) ‘that way madness lies’. If we try to figure out what search engines do, we’d go bonkers. For many years, so-called experts have been trying to figure out what Google ‘likes’ and despite these people charging companies a lot of money for their ‘knowledge’, no one really knows. And besides, engineers are always tweaking and improving search facilities, be it Google or the Airbnb search.

So you just figure something out, and everything changes again. You’ll go crazy trying to figure it out constantly.

In addition to searches being different on different computers (or browser windows even) they will show different results again if you’re using the app.

I’m always saying (I’m boring I know) that hosts shouldn’t rely on the Airbnb search or even pay much attention to it. Any search facility uses technology that’s way beyond the average person so it’s better just to not worry about it and aim for stress-free hosting :slight_smile:

1 Like

I block my unit for private, off peak season long term rentals (4 months) and my condo moves down in the search results. But who knows why but a day later, it is at the top again, two days later it disappears from the map search. @jaquo is correct — I stopped worrying about it.

1 Like

New member @TheInsider, who works for Airbnb, posted today:

Everyone will see search results and reviews in a different order EVERY SINGLE time using different location, language, etc.

Good to know ‘officially’ :slight_smile:

1 Like

Search results for listings (and reviews for that matter) are based primarily on marketing. If you have your listing inactive for a period of time, this will slow down the rate people have viewed your listing thus lowering your “ranking” in the search results. Some filters users place on their search may also raise or lower your positioning in search results. There is nothing anyone, including support, can do to prevent or change this from happening. Just keep doing what you do and it’ll pick up soon enough. Keep in mind to always just block calendar if you need repairs done or want listing to not be reserved for a period of time. Inactive listings will not appear in search results thus lowering your positioning once you activate in again in the future.

Best of luck!


When I closed two times in the past three years for remodeling my bookings took about a month to recover once I opened back up. This fall I had a direct booking guest on and off but here most of Oct-Dec. This time I made sure I was available each time he wasn’t here so I kept a steady pace of bookings and reviews. That was far superior to just blocking off the time. January was slower than the previous 2 Jans but not as much as they would have been had I blocked off three months. I also raised my price in Jan so that could have contributed.

As I put it, the busier you are, the busier you will be.

1 Like

I’ve noticed when searching for myself that if I look out two months I’m way down the results but usually first page for the current month. I get and like last minute 1-2 night bookings and that’s what the results optimize for me. If someone wants to book me for the entire month of July they will have to scroll way down to find me.

1 Like

We close every year from mid-October until the beginning of May (we just block dates, not snooze) and this year we’ve had the best, and earliest bookings ever, to the extent that our high season (June-August) was almost fully booked by end of last December - nice Christmas present!) So I think many other factors come into play than just how high you are in search results.