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Airbnb uses an algorithm to generate search results that appeal to guests. The algorithm sorts through the millions of listings on Airbnb to find the right listings for each search. Guests enter search criteria and the algorithm returns listings that reflect those criteria.
Using filters when searching
We provide a variety of filters to help guests refine search results. The algorithm considers many factors to determine how to order search results, but some factors have a larger impact than others. In particular, the quality, popularity, and price of a listing heavily influence how a listing appears in search results.
- Quality. The algorithm assesses many characteristics to evaluate quality, including the listing photos, reviews of the listing, and listing characteristics. Higher quality listings tend to rank higher in search.
- Popularity. The algorithm evaluates the popularity of a listing using a wide range of information, including how guests engage with the listing and how often the listing gets booked. Examples of guest engagement with a listing include how often guests save a listing to their wish list, how often guests book, and how often guests message the Host. More popular listings tend to rank higher in search.
- Price. To determine how attractive the price of a listing is, the algorithm considers a variety of price data, including how the price compares to similar listings in the area for the given dates. Listings that are priced below other comparable listings—other listings in the area with similar guest capacity and amenities—tend to rank higher in search.
The algorithm also encourages variety within search results—so that guests are presented with listings that have different hosts, different characteristics, and a range of prices.
Factors that influence search results
- Location: The location of a stay also has a large impact on how the listing appears in search results. Listings located in places that guests like to stay tend to rank higher—for example, accommodations close to popular landmarks.
- Nature: The nature of an Airbnb Experience also has a large impact on how the listing performs in search. Listings for unique activities hosted by someone with special expertise tend to be more popular with guests and rank higher.
How Hosts influence search results
The more dates a listing is available, the more likely it is compatible with a guest’s plans—so adding availability is a good way to improve the visibility of a listing. Similarly, the more flexibility a host offers around how long guests can stay, the more likely the listing will work with the guest’s plans and show up in search results.
Because price has a large impact on search results, one of the ways Hosts can most directly affect the performance of their listing in search is by changing their price or offering discounts. For example, many hosts offer lower prices or discounts to attract guests to newer listings or during less busy travel seasons.
High quality listing photos, and in particular an eye-catching cover photo, help attract guests’ attention and improve engagement. A comprehensive listing description and accurate list of amenities help guests evaluate the listing and develop the confidence to book. Some guests are looking for specific amenities or listing characteristics, like a crib, hot tub, step-free entrance, or a listing that allows pets. Adding sought-after amenities or characteristics to a listing can make the listing more attractive to guests and improve visibility in searches for listings with those amenities or characteristics.
Host behavior and the settings they use also influence ranking. Hosts who deliver outstanding hospitality generally improve the performance of their listings over time. For example, the algorithm considers the Superhost criteria—the number of cancellations by a host, the responsiveness of the host, and ratings and reviews for a listing—as well as Superhost status itself, when ordering search results. For listings that are not instantly bookable, the algorithm considers how quickly Hosts respond to guest inquiries and how often Hosts reject requests to book. This means that listings that can be booked instantly may rank higher in search results because responses are automatic and the booking is confirmed without the host needing to affirmatively accept the request.
How guests influence search results
Guests shape their search results by entering information like a location, dates, and the number of guests. Guests can also use filters or the map to refine their search results. For example, guests can filter stays by the type of property, the number of beds, and for specific amenities. If there aren’t enough listings available that match a guest’s search criteria, or if a guest is using flexible search, we may show other listings that we think might appeal to the guest.
We also use information we have about a guest to determine and rank their search results. For example, if a guest’s past bookings share certain characteristics, the algorithm may rank listings with those characteristics higher for that guest. Similarly, if a guest has a stay reservation, the algorithm may rank higher Airbnb Experiences that are available nearby during the dates of that reservation.
How search works for recently activated listings
To help Hosts get started, the algorithm is designed to make sure new listings show up well in search results—they're usually visible within 24 hours. But it may take up to 72 hours for some listings to show up in search results.
Our ranking algorithms will evolve over time to reflect changes to our business, in our community, and around the world. Find out which factors impact search and how to boost your ranking in the Resource Center.
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