Google penalizes Expedia for cheating
Expedia (EXPE) has been caught by Google (GOOG) creating guest blogs to generate more links for its web site, in essence gaming the Google search process for better placement. More links from other sites is one factor that can boost a website's ranking in Google searches. According to Searchmetrics, Expedia lost 25% of its visibility in Google search between Jan 12 and Jan 19th.
Search engine optimization firms have been paid for years to help boost search rankings. Common techniques include setting up other websites that have links to the main site. It is a violation of Google policy if the links on these extra sites are not marked “no follow” so its search engine does not give additional credit.