I don’t want to obsess over search listing rankings, but

I’m trying to understand why this place appears well before mine when you search by the town I’m in. It is not in the same town at all. It’s about a 30 minute drive in traffic. He has a 77% response rate while mine is 100%.

Look at the second most recent review:

And the next place is in Trenton, which is about 25 minutes from my town. Also, look at the reviews and same day cancellations. She appears in the first page when you search under my town, pages before my own listing, which is actually IN THE TOWN.

Is there something I’m missing? I see frequent mentions of new host boost. What?

When I put in "Princeton NJ, 4 adults, no other dates or filters, no whole house…
you came up #6.

When you search for yourself you need to use Chrome incognito. You also realize that everyone searches differently. For example I always look for SH and IB first. Maybe someone searches with a price parameter just outside yours. I’ve heard that it also “remembers” how you have previously searched and ranks listings according to that. Remember Airbnb wants to turn lookers into bookers and the faster they do that they better they like it.

So you are #6. Why is that when everyone else on the first page of results has far more reviews than you? New host boost.

When I limit to “whole house” and a top price of $190 you move up to #5


Maybe a browser issue. I was searching with Safari, and was on the last page. I’ll try Chrome incognito.

I wouldn’t expect to be on the first page as new host, but maybe before a dog pee place without hot water in New Brunswick.

1 Like

Surely that depends on how many hosts are in your area and their individual rankings @GardenGnome .

Have a look at Airbnb Help Centre there is a post that tells you how Airbnb ranks its listings.

1 Like

Searching on “Princeton” may well yield a different set of hosts than searching on “Princeton New Jersey” or “Princeton, NJ”.

Chalk it up to Air’s crappy search engine and whether your listing mentions the state/city/county or not…

I’ve noticed that in other places as well – Glasgow Scotland gives a different list than Glasgow Scotland UK for example.


Many hosts complain about how Airbnb’s search ranking works. There are things that you can do to boost your search ranking. For example, start by updating your calendar regularly, because that way your listing is going to be responsive and active as per the tags of their algorithm. Also, the quicker you reply, the better for your search ranking.


Does a sync from another platform (Google, HomeAway, Beyond Pricing, etc.) count as an update?

It depends on the system. For example, if you change the price from the AirGMS dashboard, Airbnb takes it as the update.

If you use Smart Pricing, that is seen as a calendar update - with no effort from you.


Last 3 weeks airbnb changed the algorithm starting about first-second week of October 2018:

  1. “favorite”/“not favorite” rooms disappeared (last 3 years airbnb used to like some rooms from the same host more than other rooms without much of the reason)
  2. Rooms started mixing after you get a reservation. Ex. One of your five star rooms with 300 reviews will go to the first page - you will get a reservation for 3 nights in december - you room will move to 23rd page after rooms with 3 stars rating and 20 reviews. Period of mixing is unclear
  3. They started showing rooms of middle price range in the top
  4. Bookings went dry for hosts with 2+ listings

Did someone notice anything else?

The search algorithm is definitely a mystery. I’ve had a sudden boost in listing views since 21 October. I attribute this to (1) all the dates in my surrounding areas booked up (i checked all their calendars which i have saved to my wish list). (2) reached a total of 6 reviews now and (3) holiday season kicking in.