5 Unconventional Ways To Increase Your Airbnb Search Rank, Part I5 min read

Airbnb search rank

Warning: Advanced strategies. Part I of III. Click here for part II and part III.


5 Unconventional Ways To Increase Your Airbnb Search Rank, Part I. Click To Tweet


Gone are the days where I tell you to create a catchy Airbnb title and cover photo to attract more guests.


In this three-part series, I’m listing 14 advanced strategies to increase your Airbnb search rank. Luckily, advanced does not mean complicated. Instead, it means few Airbnb hosts are taking advantage of them.


It’s no secret that a lot of where your listing appears in Airbnb search rank has to do with your hosting abilities (i.e. 5-star Airbnb reviews).


Most of the below strategies make you appear in more search results. The theory is the more your listing appears in relevant search results, the more it will get booked. And, the more it gets booked (with good reviews), the more Airbnb wants guests to book your place and your Airbnb search rank rises.


It’s the circle of life, Airbnb edition.


You see, unlike Google and their search rank, Airbnb is momentum based. This is because your Airbnb listing does something for Airbnb that websites listed in the Google search don’t do for it. You make Airbnb money! But it goes deeper than that.


If a first-time guest stays at your listing and has a bad experience, the likelihood of that guest returning to Airbnb is low. You’ve lost Airbnb a stream of lifetime revenue. Very bad.


However, if you consistently provide a positive guest experience, you are making Airbnb money with every reservation, but you are compounding their future revenues as these guests are likely to return to Airbnb to book their next vacation and tell their friends. And, Airbnb is still in growth mode. Up to 40% of reservations include a first time guest.


Related: The case for the Airbnb valuation to be $138 Billion


Additionally, a side benefit of all this is getting more wishlist saves which directly increases your Airbnb search rank. It’s the Airbnb circle of life.


In no particular order…


Lower your minimum stay requirement

Every day you lower your minimum stay is going to result in your listing appearing in more search results. Think about it: if your minimum is 3 nights, you’re missing out on guests searching for 1 and 2 nights.


I advocate one-night minimums. This will require you to scrutinize guest profiles more.


You can use PriceLabs to keep your minimum at 2+ nights, but use their ‘Orphan Night’ setting to have the software automatically update your calendar minimum night if there’s an unbookable (ie ‘Orphan) night based on your current settings.

For example, if you have a 2-night minimum with an open day on Wednesday, then PriceLabs will create a special rule in Airbnb to allow only this day to be booked as a single night. Plus, you can also auto set a price increase of 10% or so to avoid the guest who wants to throw a party (the most commonly cited concern over single-night minimums). See my PriceLabs review and guide or watch my tutorial of this PriceLabs customization.

Airbnb Minimum Stay


Eliminate your maximum stay requirement

If possible, completely remove maximum night requirements. Some hosts worry that the guest will stay because, in some areas, a guest would have tenant’s rights if they stay more than 30 days or so. But how common is this?


It seems more common because every time it happens, the media covers it. Just like in 2019 for a period of a few months, the media covered every Airbnb host who allegedly had a hidden camera in their listing. At the time it seemed common, but it was not.


Increase your booking window

Consider opening your calendar to ’12 months into the future’ when possible. Obviously, you’ll appear in more search results. You can also charge a premium if a guest wants to book 3+ months out.


If you do not have a good handle on your areas special events (ie conferences, concerts, etc.), then I recommend 3 months out as savvy guests are likely to book up Airbnb listings far in advance when unscrupulous hosts haven’t updated their prices.

Airbnb booking window


Lower your pricing

Hey, Airbnb host! If you're ever below 50% occupancy in any month, you're doing it wrong. Click To Tweet

At first, this appears to be ‘duh’, but I see so many hosts over value their homes resulting in abysmal occupancy levels (sub 30%). No matter where you are in the world (with few exceptions), if you’re ever below 50% occupancy in a month, you’re doing it wrong. Lower your pricing in increments of 10% and wait 7 days. Again, the lower your price, the more search results you’ll appear in. For those hosts starting with really high nightly rates ($200+), you’ll experience exponential growth in search results every $15 you lower your rate.

Plus, an Airbnb study put out in early 2017 showed that Airbnb heavily favors lower priced listings. This makes sense as we know Airbnb’s Smart Pricing keeps hosts calendars cheap because price is one of their greatest advantages over traditional hotels.

Airbnb pricing hack

Use this Airbnb pricing hack to virtually guarantee more views. Click To Tweet

I covered this in a recent blog post, but it’s a simple strategy that virtually guarantees you more views. The catch is that you have to connect to a third party pricing partner. I recommend PriceLabs who are available worldwide, but Wheelhouse and Beyond Pricing are other fine options.


Stay tuned for parts II and III in the upcoming weeks! If you have some unconventional ways to increase your Airbnb search rank, please share them with me in the comments.

I'm Danny, the Airbnb expert

About Danny Rusteen:

Starting in 2012, Danny has been an Airbnb employee, Superhost, and Airbnb property manager. Danny lives in Airbnbs (1,000 nights). As a guest, Danny has traveled to 33 countries and sifted through thousands of Airbnb listings, so he knows what makes a listing stand out and how to offer a world-class experience to your guest. Follow his journey.

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