Google Blogoscoped

Monday, May 8, 2006

Expedia Spam

Correction: Tony Ruscoe finds out that anyone can create a blog on That means Expedia may be legally responsible for the pages as they are hosting them, but they are not spamming themselves. In that case, it’s also more likely that only the specific sub-domains risk getting Googleaxed. Tony says, “Expedia are innocent of spamming but guilty of stupidity.” [Thanks Tony!]

Expedia France has been caught spamming hosting spammers. When you search for buy viagra...

... the first Google result* right now leads to ...

Some people just don’t learn! This beautiful doorway-ish page above, found on, redirects to pages like or The actual benefit for users is zero, so we can conclude the target audience here is the Googlebot... and that’s against the Google guidelines (“Make pages for users, not for search engines.” ... “Don’t load pages with irrelevant words.” ... “Avoid ’doorway’ pages created just for search engines”).

And this isn’t the only weird page on travel site Expedia. Other pages include:

The list goes on, and turns into a who-is-who of pharmaceutics. Some of these pages have “optimized” sentences like “The buy ambien most ambien online common ambien side effects side generic ambien effects...” There are also hidden links inside the HTML, containing keywords such as “ringtones,” “web hosting” or “rolex replica” (on a single page). right now has a PageRank of 8, but for how long until they’re axed by Google? (And once is banned, other Expedia domains linking to – like PageRank 9 – are sliding into a bad neighborhood, which might cause soft penalties as well.)

*Google rankings may vary depending on when & where you’re checking...

[Via InsideGoogle/ SEO Black Hat.]


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