As of this writing, Expedia, one of the world’s largest travel company, is still being penalized by Google. This is based from Search Metrics data which shows the latter’s sudden drop in rankings and traffic from Google since the 19th of this month.
SEO and marketing experts have given an estimate of 10 days before Google would take down the penalty.
Some spectators trace back Expedia’s sudden drop in rankings and search engine traffic from a blog post that was published over a month ago. It exposes the travel company’s engagement in unnatural and paid link schemes that has been done a few years back.
The penalty, according to some industry experts, had brought 25% drop (overnight) of search engine traffic to main Expedia site and a decrease of -0.30% in the stock market. Both Expedia and Google still haven’t release any official statements regarding this issue.
Top Lessons Every Business Should Learn
I guess businesses still haven’t learned a lesson from the failures of previous big websites (companies) that were penalized due to unnatural links. From JC Penny, BMW, E-zine Articles, and now Expedia, it’s high time for everyone, especially those who are solely dependent on Google Search’s organic traffic, to stop practicing bad SEO and start keeping up with Google’s search algorithm changes and begin implementing tactics that are ethical and in sync with Google’s policies.
SEO targeted Keywords are Not Useful Anymore
This has been mentioned countless of times already in online marketing blogs, SEO websites, and Google has already issued a lot of statements, warning publishers and content creators of heavy punishment and penalty, if they’ll find solid proof of search ranking manipulation, and unnatural paid link schemes.
In order to avoid penalties and other future debacles, it is safer to stop using any kinds of exact match keywords (as anchor texts) as part of your content and search optimization strategy.
Google Also Targets Big Companies
This latest penalty issue for Expedia is another proof that Google is not afraid to penalize even those industry giants which financial status can cause impact in the country’s economy. From small publishers, start-up websites, to Fortune 500 companies, the search engine giant is ruthless when it comes to implementing their rules and policies.
Thus, the safest thing you can do is to just stick with ethical practices and avoid anything that can hint Google that you are trying to manipulate their system.
Bad SEO is Bad SEO
No matter how much some SEO practitioners would sugar coat it, it would still boils down to the fact that bad SEO is always bad. As a business owner, you should learn how to detect if the group of people you hired to manage your online marketing campaign are engaging in unethical SEO practices. Or, much better, your hiring process should determine to crash out in the list those firms and professionals who are known in manipulating search rankings and paid link schemes.
You Reap What You Sow
This old adage simply means that there are always consequences in everything that we do. If you do bad things, you’ll get bad things in return. It may take a certain length of time or period, but it would eventually come back to you. Same with cheating and manipulating search rankings. Since you cheated your way to beat your competitors, you would also lose some significant earnings in the long run because in life, we can’t avoid payback time.
Don’t Be Too Dependent on Google
This is an important reminder for every business owner who is currently facing the dilemma on how to keep up with the ever changing updates and very strict policies of Google. There are a lot of marketing platforms that offer great alternative services and it would take you no time to evaluate each of them according to your business needs. You just have to spread your online marketing efforts on those ones that provide better results.
There’s no denying that these days, Google is the ultimate game-changer in the search engine industry. It’s either you play with their game or you’ll be ousted with the survival of your business as the cost. What happened to Expedia can happen to anyone. So play it safe and if you are stubborn enough to oppose, just be sure that you won’t get caught.