Expedia SEO Penalty

The problem with negative SEO has apparently claimed another victim as Expedia, a big-name player in the travel industry has experienced drop in website visibility.

The issue was apparently discovered by SearchMetrics, whose extensive blog explained why Expedia lost 25% of search engine visibility.

expedia-logoAlthough the observed visibility drop took place between Jan. 12 and 19, losing a quarter of search visibility is quite significant. The impact is big that Expedia shares fell on concerns about how this issue will impact the business.

The approach on link building which shook Expedia’s search presence is old-fashioned and outright short-sighted. SearchMetrics showed in its blog that several examples of links pointing to Expedia website were through guest posts using special keywords associated with the industry. For instance “hotels” was used as anchor text more than 15,000 times, according to data shared by SearchMetrics to USA TODAY. In the past, Expedia is a constant fixture on first-page result for the query in Google. Now, I cannot find it.

Expedia is too experienced to hatched this scheme. But as a large organization it may be engaged with third-party agencies who might be responsible for the mess.

The occurrence of such high-profile incidents show Google does not discriminate among link building offenders, and led to the emergence of link cleaning services to undo the work of bad link building practices.