I recently mentioned how Google had pretty much killed the comment spam by punishing those sites who, in an attempt to get their page rank to soar, had been posting their link as spam in other people's websites. The idea is to promote properly organic linking, not artifically created ones which only serve the purpose to boost one's rankings. And yet, according to Nenad of Nenad SEO, you can still buy your way to the top of Google's search page by "hiring bloggers to place 'guest posts' on numerous sites with optimized anchor keywords pointing to their sites."
So what if Expedia spends 5% (I dont know the exact number) of their earnings on AdWords? Its not a biggie. AdWords is just a part of their SEO efforts. The other part is hiring bloggers and fake journalists to write random articles (you know those articles that start with Top 10 this or Top 5 that) and link back to Expedia using 2010 SEO style keywords. Why do I say 2010?
Well, for the rest of the SEO community, Google announced how overly optimized anchors are a big no-no. Matt Cutts, the head of Googles web-spam team said: Usually there is a clear distinction between occasional guest blogging and large-scale, paid-for links. Thank you very much for that line, Matt.
So, Expedia was (and still is) using large-scale guest posting services for the sake of ranking higher for these types of keywords:
- Cheap flights (insanely profitable keyword)
- Car rental
- Get cheap tickets, etc.
So, basically, their writers create a meaningless article then post it on a site and they link from the article body to Expedias site using these types of keywords.
You'll be amused to know, probably as a result of this website's decent rankings, that we get plenty of offers for SEO and to post articles with links. This despite our 'contact us' page clearly stating that we aren't looking for either.
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