In 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.