Expedia bounces after Cowen defends; Priceline higher, TripAdvisor off

|By:, SA News Editor

Cowen argues the unnatural link penalty imposed by Google on Expedia's (EXPE -4.5%) placement within Google search results is likely to be resolved within a few weeks, and unlikely to have a major impact on the online travel site's results.

Though shares are still down sharply on the day, Cowen's note has helped Expedia bounce off its intraday low of $65.14.

Both Expedia and archrival Priceline (PCLN +0.9%) depend heavily on Google-related traffic, and have been ramping their Google ad spend to grab a larger share of it. Priceline spent $533.2M on online ad spend in Q3 (+42% Y/Y), and Expedia spent $625.3M (+24%) on sales/marketing in total.

TripAdvisor (TRIP -2.6%), which acts as a major referral traffic source for Expedia, is following Expedia lower.