Expedia & Google: No Comment From Both About Possible Expedia Penalty

Expedia appears to have been hit by a Google penalty related to unnatural links. So what do Google and Expedia have to say about the situation? No comment.

As covered yesterday, the visibility of Expedia listings in Google appears to have recently plunged, according to measurements by Searchmetrics:

expedia.com_visibility-drop

This comes after accusations last month, which sparked discussion, that Expedia was obtaining links in a way that go against Google’s guidelines.

So, did Google punish Expedia and if so, for exactly what? Google told us:

We typically don’t comment on specific companies regarding search rankings.

As for Expedia, when asked about the accusations and visibility plunge, its PR agency of record HL Group responded to say:

Expedia will not be commenting on this story.

If we hear more, we’ll update. And stay tuned. If this was a penalty (and it seems likely), and if it’s one that stays longer than a few days, it could go to hurting Expedia’s bottom line. In that case, Expedia might follow as some other companies have done to disclose the traffic hit as a risk or explanation for any loss in revenue.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: Penalties

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About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • Tom Bourlet

    So many travel companies have been hit over the last couple of years, very much interested to see Search Metrics SEO Visibility for Expedia next week to see how they’re doing.

  • Durant Imboden

    If Expedia has been hit by a penalty, have the sites that sold links or guest posts to Expedia also been penalized, or is this just a case of “let the buyer beware”?

  • Rob Bruce

    It’s good to see that big brand favoritism isn’t an absolute with Google. With yesterday’s actions against Expedia, they are clearly showing the SEO community that if you do the crime, you do the time. Unfortunately for the little guys in the space – the “time” is generally probation + time served for big brands like EXPE – thus equaling a mere slap on the wrist for the rule breakers. But a step in the right direction nonetheless….

  • Rob Bruce

    It’s good to see that big brand favoritism isn’t an absolute with Google. With yesterday’s actions against Expedia, they are clearly showing the SEO community that if you do the crime, you do the time. Unfortunately for the little guys in the space – the “time” is generally probation + time served for big brands like EXPE – thus equaling a mere slap on the wrist for the rule breakers. But a step in the right direction nonetheless….

  • http://www.ducktoes.com/webdesign/seo.php Cathie Dunklee-Donnell

    I wonder what they did. I tried to see for myself. According to Majestic SEO they have over 10 million backlinks so it’s hard to tell.

  • http://www.ducktoes.com/webdesign/seo.php Cathie Dunklee-Donnell

    I wonder what they did. I tried to see for myself. According to Majestic SEO they have over 10 million backlinks so it’s hard to tell.

  • antonio

    whoever does SEO should have known this would eventually happen to them…

  • mike

    this will be treated in same way Google deals with ALL large companies, they will receive preferential treatment in the recovery process. Unlike smaller companies which take months for Google to respond to they will recover in days.. Case in point Rap Genius . Which took 10 days to recover form a serious penalty , that would take 8-12 months for most others ( that is they could even recover)

  • mike

    Sure everyone can get penalized but the true test of favoritism is how long the recovery is …..just wait my bet is 10 days or less

  • http://www.uncorkedventures.com/ Mark Aselstine

    Exactly. Receiving only a 10 day penalty for a family owned business, would necessitate an act of God, or similar. For a big brand like Expedia, you can cheat, reap the rewards and lose revenue for less than 2 weeks (at least that’s been the recent set of examples). Personally speaking, that doesn’t seem like much of a penalty

  • http://www.burgoblog.com Matt Burgess

    Interestingly enough, this doesn’t seem to have spread to their international sites… in Australia, for example, they still have a very strong presence in the SERPs.

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