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New SEO Study - Why Expedia Got Penalized

I just read this and thought everyone would like this. It's an interesting read on how bad seo can mess up a website.

Some of the things their SEO guys did were outright stupid. So check out what stupid SEO is all about.


  • SvenSven
    Haha indeed interesting read. Thanks for sharing.
  • nice read thx
  • What is most interesting is their SEO worked (hidden links, auto-generated blog network et al). Is was only when they were outed that they were (apparently) manually penalized. So the lesson is twofold. 1) Use their tactics 2) Make sure you control your Tier 1, so you can clean up the mess if you need to. Anyway, my opinion.
  • Thanks for sharing :) This was fun
  • Lulz @ Expedia
  • Really enjoyed that read thanks
  • Thanks for sharing
  • Enjoyed thoroughly. Lol, who knew a company as big as this could get hit so bad. I'm sure Expedia is now going to sue those morons lol.
  • interesting info, thanks
  • Ha ha ha....

  • goonergooner
    Nice share, amazing what some companies get away with.
    It seems they were given a manual penalty only after their tactics become public knowledge, the algorithm did not penalise them. Draw whatever conclusions you like from that ;)

    Nice share @ron
  • Guys I'm speculating the reason the algo didn't slap them is their "whitehat" off-page SEO outweighed the bad. Only when it was outed publicly did Google have to intervene and slap tjem. It's even possible the blackhat tactics weren't even doing anything. All speculation of course.
  • davbeldavbel UK
    edited January 2014
    They didn't get slapped until now because they are a "brand" and they will probably be back in a few weeks after they've done some sort of "link clean up campaign".

    I've done an absolute ton of research into the whole brand thing within a specific retail niche that I'm involved with and it's outrageous and ridiculous what some of the so called "brand" etailers get up to.

    Worst still is what their SEO firms do on their behalf.  One of the etailers I'm talking about is a long established UK business (150 years +) who uses one of the top 3 UK agencies. 

    They've built them a blog network consisting of what look like expired domains with each post (and we're talking about 10s of posts per blog and 100s of blogs) linking back to the retailers website.

    How did I find it?  Using Ahrefs; it really was that obvious.

    And yes, you would be right if you said I've done worse, because I have.  My issue is that they get treated differently and don't have the same rules applied.
  • @davbel - Good post

    @Ron - Thanks for the share.
  • Brands are definitely favored. I am sure Google would favor them and treat them like God again in a few weeks when this shores settles down a bit. How sad is that.
  • This might sound strange, but regardless of the tactics used, I actually think that it was a great peice of SEO.

    These guys were no amateurs, they knew exactly what they were doing. They knew what things were working, and what things they could get away with, and used them (in part) to rank the site for years.

    A nice neat fence of tier1s was built around the site, so that it if it all went tits up (as it has) they could just delete the offending links (probably with the help of a google engineer lol) and be back in a month or so.

    A few years increased revenue, for a couple of month decreased revenue - sounds like good business to me.

    Shame some dickhead had to publicly out them to G.

    Nice read Ron, thanks for sharing.
  • Well said ^^
  • Agree with 2Take2. 
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