Was Expedia Penalized By Google? SearchMetrics Says So.

Jan 21, 2014 • 8:45 am | comments (18) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

expedia logoYesterday morning Patrick Altoft tweeted to me that SearchMetrics is reporting Expedia lost about 25% of their Google traffic overnight.

SearchMetric is indeed reporting this and I confirmed it with Marcus Tober from SearchMetrics via email. I posted the story on the traffic drop at Search Engine Land and asked if it was related to the link buying allegations Expedia was surrounded with last month.

A Hacker News thread, that I've been following for the past couple weeks has more details about how Expedia may have been involved in link schemes and may have received an unnatural link penalty by Google. Google has not yet responded to my inquiries about the penalty. So I have no confirmation from Google or Expedia about it.

SEM Rush shows no drop off in traffic:

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Search Metrics shows a huge decline:

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To be fair, SearchMetrics is normally dead on.

Here are the keywords SearchMetrics cites as Expedia dropping on:

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In after hours trading, Expedia's stock dropped about 3% over the news:

Expedia Stock

It is amazing how Google can have such an impact on another large public company. But it is more amazing that companies that size need to participate in link schemes. Again, it seems they did participate in link schemes but it is not 100% clear if they were penalized by Google for it.

Forum discussion at Hacker News.

Update: Three months later, see what has changed or not changed over here.

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