Expedia CEO Calls Google Penalty ‘Speculative’

    February 7, 2014
    Chris Crum

It appeared last month that Expedia had been penalized by Google for its linking practices. Searchmetrics data showed a 25% drop in Google search visibility.

Google and Expedia have both remained silent on the issues, but NenadSEO had blogged about what appeared to be Expedia creating a “huge amount” of paid articles with “fluff content” and “overly optimized anchor keywords”.

Expedia released its quarterly and full year earnings on Thursday, and as Danny Sullivan points out, the hit hasn’t affected the company’s bottom line just yet, but it did come in the first quarter, so next earnings report should be more telling.

CEO Dara Khosrowshahi was asked about it on the earnings call, and said (via Sullivan):

Yes, as far as Google goes, look, listen, we’re not going to comment on speculative articles about our Google trends. What I’ll tell you in general is that our traffic from Google, both on a paid and an organic basis, continues to increase on a year-on-year basis. We look at all of our practices in Google, our SEM practices. We make sure that the content on from our side is great, our SEO practices, et cetera, and we’re constantly auditing them and making sure that our practices are industry-leading. So really, that’s the only comment I’ll make. Google’s a big partner. We continue to grow with them. And from a long-term basis, we look to continue to grow with them going forward.

Google’s a “big partner,” but Expedia is also part of the FairSearch coalition, fighting to see more regulation of search results come Google’s way. In this case, it appears that Google is the one regulating Expedia’s search results.

Google has been on a warpath against unnatural links. This week, head of webspam Matt Cutts announced Google has taken out yet another link network with more to come.

Image via SearchMetrics