Brief Glimpse Inside Expedia’s SEO Machine

| | Search Engine Optimization (SEO)


You might be familiar with Expedia’s link schemes and how they were getting away with it while smaller companies and bloggers continue to get punished. I want to expand on that article a bit and provide further proof what they are doing is horrible.

To keep the email private and anonymous, I’ve replaced the name of the person with Bob.

First email from Bob

Hello Michael

my name is Bob i want to put 1 text link in homepage and saveral different

pages (innerpagerank) total 3 pages and every pages have two link total link on

different pages have 7 links

all my link dofollow

payment via paypal and add gtalk please

if you want more discussion please add my gtalk

I hope long term business with you my link related your site

waiting for positive reply




Second email from Bob

give me price $80 for one link anualy (article writen by me):
This is for example:

Publisher URL: *deleted*

Link Text: flying into Auckland

Link URL:

In which I respond:

May I ask you a few personal questions? Who do you work for? How much does Expedia pay you?

Third email from Bob:

To be honest, I do not work for sir, but I work for people who work for expedia, I am just a college student looking for extra money for my school,I just received a $ 5 of your ad, but I was asked to get the price according to their will. I am from Indonesia.

My response

Thank you Bob for being honest.
How often do you get bloggers to put links?
Do you mean you get $5 per ad that you sell?

His last email

I also feel uneasy with this job sir, because I only had one month to get 2 sites, I am new in this job sir, forgive me if I do not speak politely, my current country of midnight, I worked from morning sir,

His writing makes it difficult to understand but I assume he’s making $5 per link he sells. It’s also safe to assume that he has been hired by an SEO company that Expedia has hired. I wonder then if Expedia is even aware that this is going on here.

On the one hand they are running fantastic campaigns with travel bloggers and many of which are my good friends of mine but then on the other hand I see SEO campaigns such as this which does not give me a good impression of their brand. It’s self-defeating. Does the company not realize that when they hire SEO companies to do this type of work that their damaging their own brand?

This also comes to no surprise since as of yesterday Expedia has lost 25% of their search traffic.

What are your thoughts on this?

Recent Comments

  • Sad, just really really sad

  • Nothing surprising here. If you spend big money on Google Adsense, it’s highly unlikely Google will penalize you. Meanwhile, companies like Moz (which make a living off of telling you how to rank better in Google) preach one thing and do another – all to sell their product.

    Expedia has done crappy link campaigns in the past, but they also do quality PR (public relations) and much better marketing. In the end, all of this balances out. It’s the important aspect of building a diversified link profile.

  • Google love big brands and Expedia will never be slapped for this!

    I always wondered who that people were who I do be emailing when working with advertisers Sometimes you can get $200 for a link, others $80. I always imagined someone was pocketing the difference as a commission based on their negotiation skills.