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Something is wrong with searches - no bookings

Hi fellow hosts,

I’m new here although I’ve been following this forum for a while, and which I think has been very useful.

I’m renting out a small flat and receive most of my bookings about a few weeks before an arrival. I also get lots of booking just three four days before arrival. I regularly spy my competitors in the same area to adjust my prices. When I have gaps between bookings, I check what else is available at the same price level in the same area.

Many of my bookings are from tourists who come here for two days. But now I haven’t received any two-night bookings at all and I think I know the reason. If I search my listing for two nights, it won’t appear in search results at all. Search results for longer than two nights are ok.

My minimum stay is two nights but I often try to fill one night gaps by setting a rule for available nights. The strange thing is that sometimes my place appears in one-night searches and sometimes it doesn’t. And the situation seems to change.

The system seems to be pretty unstable because a couple of days ago I searched two-night slots and sometimes my place appeared and sometime it didn’t. I just went through my calendar using different beginning days. Until yesterday the platform stopped showing any two-night slots. When I view my listing on airbnb, my calendar shows available dates correctly. But it’s the searches that won’t work.

It seems that I’m not the only one who is in this situation because there are some gorgeous listings that are normally fully-booked for months in advance and now their calendars are exceptionally empty.

I contacted Airbnb and the lady there said she noticed the same and my question was addressed to the technical team. There were some misunderstandings but hopefully they will do something to the problem. And I do hope that this is not a new feature that is being tested. So, if you haven’t received bookings this might be worth checking.

Update: airbnb just contaceted me and told that they’ve got a system bug.

1 Like

Yes this is happening to me too, I have some open dates in April and in May and if I do a two dates only 1 listing in all of Miami shows up. If I do three days then I show up plus others. Kaskazini I am in Miami where are you? Any idea when they will fix it?

Carmen, I’m in Northern Europe so it doesn’t seem to be a local problem. In the reply Airbnb said that they don’t know the scale or extent of the problem, so they can’t tell when it’ll be fixed.

I had this problem earlier too but it used to disappear when removed all weekly and monthly prices and reset them. This time it hasn’t helped in my case. Have you tried that?

The search ranking in Aibnb is really hard to track. At first there are many factors on which you are in control such as keeping your calendar updated, having a high response rate, a high acceptance rate, having IB … well, you know those. But the second factor is that the search page is dynamic and relays on the subject who is browsing it. In this sense it depends on the location from where the search is made, if you are logged in, if you have a past browsing history, etc

To test my placement on the search page I always proxy out my browsing session from a different city/country. I also assure that I’m using a Private Browsing and to play safe I clear my Airbnb cookies as I know the Private Session isn’t always fully private. For an even safe measure I try to use a different browser than the one I normaly use like for e.g. Opera. With all this work I’m able o find my lisiting but I can say this will be case for a different kind of browsing experience. It only needs you totweak a few serach filters so that the results will be rearranged to fit your new preferences. For example if you nudge the price filters to the lowest values Airbnb will likely think that are looking for a budget accomodation thus those expensive ones will be less prominent in your next searches.

All in all, I agree with the many of you that note that reservations have drastically dropped to almost none. I used to be booked many months in advanced and now I don’t have a single inquiry. My last reservation is for the first days of May and then nothing. I can’t say that this a system bug but it is very strange to see other listings on my area that use to be booked in full with now an occuancy rate of less than 30% for the next month and nothing for the rest of the year.

If this is a bug I can only think that their messaging system is not working, the verification process or is it their payment system in the last resort. If you go an check their Facebook page you can sometimes see complains from people having trouble verifying their profiles or when triyng to pay.

Monica. Spot on. This is the way Google works as well. And Facebook and undoubtedly Airbnb.

Just focus on getting good reviews, respond to enquiries quickly and try instant booking. In other words give them what Airbnb AND the guest what they want.

Yes, making your guests satisfied should be the trick to success on Airbnb but it isn’t enough. Once the market gets flood with tons of listings you start being fully dependant on how the serach algorithm threats your placement. In other words, you need LUCK and too much of it. It is kind of ironic because hosts came to Airbnb to advertise their rental and we pay Airbnb 15% of our income for that job. There are many products wrapping this one (like for eg host insurance, verified and reviewed guests, a secure payment platformm, etc) but getting seen is the essential one. Don’t you think?

Yes Monica. I don’t know how they do it. There are only X many spaces available on the first page so some kind of rating or priority listing has to be engaged by Airbnb.

The same happened with Google. Their solution was to sell priority spacing. Ie. Google ads. Whether or not this is an optio for Airbnb, who knows.

Monica, I’m sorry to hear that your reservations have dropped too whatever is the reason.

If I want to test my placement in general, I’ll do it from a different IP address with all cookies removed. And search results are certainly different. When I’m logged in, my place is always the first one in searches. That was the reason I noticed that something was wrong. I was logged in and my place didn’t appear in searches at all, it didn’t matter which search parameters were used.

Before Airbnb believed that something is wrong they told me to update my calendar, continue being hospitable etc… That’s probably their standard answer. Anyway, I was told that they did a lot of testing and noticed that there is a bug indeed.

I’m in a relatively small place without tons of listings and I basically know all the listings of this area. So it’s pretty easy to see what’s going on.

Today I just noticed that when I search three nights in June, my place appears only randomly. And I still have the two night problem. My place won’t appear at all when searching two nights in June and most of my visitors stay for two nights :frowning:
The page views of my listing tell the same story, they’ve dropped and I’m not that often wishlisted anymore.

This is not nice for travelers either because they can’t see all available listings. The selection of the listings of this area is actually really poor for some weekends and June is high season here. Still, many hosts’ calendars are empty.

Hi everybody,
I am experiencing similar problem.I have 6 apartments and most of them are already fully booked for May and June apart of one.Last night I got an email from one guest asking if I can confirm his booking because I did not reply and he made booking but nothing happened and today I got email from another person saying she contacted me yesterday and I did not reply.In both cases I did not received any enquiries from them.
I think there must be a bug on website.I am going to contact Airbnb as well.

I can’t find my place on the new app even though I have searched my place for unbooked days. This is worrying me quite a bit. Also now the Computer dashboard doesn’t receive messages only the app notification. UGGGH!

It is very worring indeed. I just posted in the other thread of the same subject.

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