SearchMetrics Shows Expedia's Google Traffic Return, But Did It Ever Drop?

May 8, 2014 • 8:48 am | comments (10) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

expedia logoIn January, we reported how Expedia may have been penalized by Google because SearchMetrics showed a huge drop in search visibility for the company's website.

Now, after about three months, SearchMetrics is showing an increase in their Google traffic. It is not back to the levels it once was, but the increase is showing positive signs.

Here is the graph:


Now, SEM Rush, a competitor to SearchMetrics, never showed any decline for Expedia during this time. They do use different methods for their data, but often when there is a major change like this, they agree on some level. Here is SEM Rush's traffic charts for Expedia for the past year:


On May 1st, Expedia had their earnings call and earnings release. In that, there was no sign of any trouble with revenues, search traffic or anything. It seems like this significant decline reported by SearchMetrics had no impact on their actual earnings - which would be rare since a ton of their earnings depend on Google traffic.

So what does this tell us? Be careful when depending on these tools. Expedia always denied any Google issues and it seems they may have been right, unless something is there that we are not seeing?

Forum discussion continued at Hacker News.

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James Sparks

05/08/2014 01:37 pm

I use SearchMetrics to measure online visibility (among other features) and have to say this report makes me wonder how accurate their data is. Has SearchMetrics commented on the discrepancy?

Barry Schwartz

05/08/2014 01:38 pm

Yes, they have, all over the press.


05/08/2014 02:11 pm

@rustybrick:disqus link please...

Barry Schwartz

05/08/2014 02:13 pm

I’d have to find it. No time now. Google it. Marcus Tober of search metrics + expedia.

Michael Martinez

05/08/2014 02:29 pm

This sounds like the great JCPenney squawk all over again. If any action Google might have taken did not affect the brand queries then it's unlikely core revenues were affected.


05/08/2014 04:54 pm

Here is the blog post by Marcus Tober


05/08/2014 04:55 pm


05/09/2014 03:09 am

After using both SearchMetrics and SEMRush, then comparing it with serp positions and actual traffic, I can say that SEMRush is more accurate for me

Roxana Stingu

05/09/2014 08:50 am

Hello Barry! There's a big difference between the ways SearchMetrcis and SEMRush measure what they call search engine traffic and SEO visibility: SemRush: Google SE Traffic - Estimated number of visitors coming from the first 20 Google search results (per month) SearchMetrics: SEO Visibility is composed of search volume and the position of ranking keywords. Each position is individually measured by a calculated factor from Searchmetrics. Also, the SEO Visibility factors in whether the ranking keywords are navigational or informational. So SearchMetrics goes further than the 20th position. So as I see it, losing even one position for a powerful keyword would make them lose a lot of visibility (SearchMetrics) but even if their Top 10 keywords became Top 20 they still had enough keywords ranking Top 20 for their SemRush traffic not to drop that drastically.


05/09/2014 12:19 pm

may be expedia signed some private agreement with google, or pay them commission. I don't know, but situation more like it.

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