Expedia -5.9% premarket on report that site has lost 25% of search visibility on Google

Shares of Expedia (EXPE) are down 5.9% in pre-market trading after Search Engine Land writes that the site "seems to have lost 25% of their search visibility in Google" due to "an unnatural link penalty."

The site has been the target of controversy over its SEO practices previously, and Google has taken the path of punishing sites that abuse its algorithms in the past, for example with start-up RapGenius (although the site has now been reinstated).

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Comments (4)
  • HeBS Digital
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
    In addition to low-quality and artificial inbound links, I believe another reason for Expedia's demotion in the search rankings is the deteriorating quality of the site's content. Expedia has been cutting corners and is now paying the price. Quality of content about each property and each destination on the site has decreased dramatically over the past years. There is no fresh, engaging, editorial-level content on the site. No enticing blog postings.


    In September of 2013, Google introduced a new, dramatically different search algorithm dubbed “Hummingbird,” intended to deliver better, more intuitive results for users via conversational search. In Google’s own statement, the Hummingbird is the company’s largest search algorithm change since 2001 – a staggering period of time in the ever-evolving world of SEO.


    Hummingbird’s main intent is to deliver more accurate answers to conversational search queries. In short, the search engine’s results will better answer questions like the following: “What is the best hotel rooftop bar nearby?” These geo-targeted, conversational, query-specific results are meant to help users find the results most relevant to them.


    In a more general sense, this algorithm change reinforces Google’s continuing shift toward rewarding quality content instead of keyword-centric content. As noted in a recent HeBS Digital blog post, “The End of an Era: Google Says Goodbye to Keyword-Centric SEO,” the content-focused age is upon us. Low-quality, keyword-stuffed content is prone to punishment at the hands of Google, while high-quality, helpful, engaging and relevant content is rewarded with high search engine results page placement.
    21 Jan 2014, 09:51 AM Reply Like
  • Marios Alexandrou
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    So someone at Google can penalize a site (can always find evidence of at least a little bad behavior to justify the penalty), the stock goes down, and then someone (could be anyone given the story eventually becomes public) buys the stock on the dip knowing that penalties for big brands are always lifted. This should be interesting to watch.
    21 Jan 2014, 02:30 PM Reply Like
  • Whythishappens
    , contributor
    Comments (7) | Send Message
    EXPE has focused on building it's mobile capability which removes Google from the equation. There are other ways to get traffic without paying the Google toll.
    22 Jan 2014, 11:26 AM Reply Like
  • Whythishappens
    , contributor
    Comments (7) | Send Message
    Expedia has focused on building its mobile capability and has been successful in this channel that removes Google from the equation. Google should be looking over its shoulder as many companies continue to build mobile.
    22 Jan 2014, 11:26 AM Reply Like
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