Expedia Still Under Google Penalty Two Weeks Later?

Feb 3, 2014 • 8:32 am | comments (23) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

expedia logoTwo weeks ago, we reported that Expedia may have been penalized by Google for unnatural links. But I am surprised to see no recovery reported by SearchMetrics yet.

Rap Genius had a penalty that lasted 10-days but it has already been 14-days and no change in rankings at Google for Expedia's terms?

The SearchMetrics charts at least show no recovery:

click for full size

I still see them on page three for [hotels] and some other keywords.

Forum discussion at Hacker News.

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02/03/2014 01:43 pm

I'm still waiting to hear from Google on a reconsideration request that I sent on 20th January. I'm guessing Expedia will hear way before me

Blair Kuhnen

02/03/2014 01:45 pm

Interesting. It seems like they and others add hospitality with little value added, yet were dominant in the results. I find it hard sometimes to find the actual hotel's entry. While there is little value added in cars or air fares, these companies need to learn how to add value or lose position. +Barry Schwartz


02/03/2014 02:21 pm

Perhaps Expedia are just the first of the travel sector to get it ..Google needs to thin down the competition in that sector if it hopes to dominate this valuable search space itself.

Rachel Roodhardt

02/03/2014 02:51 pm

I think you're on to something ;-)


02/03/2014 03:04 pm

The case study I read about their links shows a lot they need to clean up. If they do get penalty lifted quickly it would be very surprising or major favoritism.

Durant Imboden

02/03/2014 04:04 pm

They probably have a lot more to clean up than Rap Genius did.


02/03/2014 06:05 pm

And what if Expedia just doesn't care ? Or, let's rephrase, relationship with Google is not priority for Expedia.

Barry Schwartz

02/03/2014 06:05 pm

Could be. :-)


02/03/2014 06:13 pm

I wish it would be this way, because it would show others, that there is online life without Google. We need such example. Rappers appeared to be too weak )

Alexander Hemedinger

02/03/2014 06:40 pm

Well since PPC is Google's main profit, perhaps they are hitting the bigger fish so they end up spending more on the keywords they can't rank anymore..... =)


02/03/2014 07:34 pm

If they didn't care, they wouldn't have spent all that time and money on dodgy link building for SEO purposes. So I think they probably do care.

Stuart McHenry

02/03/2014 11:02 pm

Really? We we did one around the 23rd of Jan and heard back 7-8 days later.

Casey Markee, MBA

02/04/2014 05:48 am

That's definitely the exception Stuart, not the norm. Most reconsideration requests are currently taking weeks, not days. The last three I've submitted for clients averaged 22 days. I have one in now originally submitted on 1/7. It's still pending.

Casey Markee, MBA

02/04/2014 05:54 am

Correct. Most "backseat analyses" are showing toxic domain numbers in the several thousand. Rap Genius in contrast said they "recovered" by pruning what amounted to a total of 217 manually identified suspect links. A paltry amount in comparison to what Expedia would need to tackle.


02/04/2014 09:19 am

Yeah we're based in the UK though so I believe our requests are handled by the spam team in Ireland. They might be slower?

Patti Paz

02/04/2014 12:19 pm

I am really confused here?.!.... Since WHEN can a penalty for Unnatural Links be resolved in 10 to 14 days????? From everything I read, it takes at least 3 attempts at removing the unnatural links, and then disavowing those that are still there, AND THEN submitting a request for reconsideration . . . . . . That's the way the little guys have to do it, anyway.

Ben Guest

02/04/2014 01:11 pm

Well, someone tell them to come hire us. We'll clean it up nicely and actually create a nice content strategy for them. I mean the endless content ideas for travel. Geez.

Ben Guest

02/04/2014 01:14 pm

Maybe these are just PR stunts by Google to stay in the headlines?


02/04/2014 03:16 pm

looks like google ready to launch their travel portal or thin mfa ticket sales pages.

ashutosh rajput

02/05/2014 05:49 am

do not worry soon Bing over come Google.....

Stuart McHenry

02/05/2014 05:11 pm

Maybe like EddNG mentioned its different by country. Our last two seemed to go fast.

Gary Lee

02/06/2014 12:11 am

With a profile that bad it should take Google over 1 year and two refreshes to see recovery. If not then they got special treatment.

Gary Lee

02/06/2014 12:19 am

Actually it should take about 3 days for a RR to get replied to,I just did one and have lots of experience. If you get one in 3 days it means the automated tests they run flag you as still having a problem. IF IT TAKES LONGER. Your site has passed the automated test and moves up for manual review, which is why it takes longer but is a good sign. If you hear back in about 7 days you will likely have failed your manual review and may have some example links in your response. IF IT TAKES EVEN LONGER, Your site has been approved by the NON Google contractors and passed to the Google team capable of lifting the Manual penalty. Once this happens, depending on how bad the volume of unnatural links where,you can wait from just a few weeks if you are lucky enough to be close to the next refresh or over a year for the links to be re-crawled and compared with the disavow. If all were fair it would take Expedia over a year to recover.

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