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Expedia’s Brilliant Page Type Strategy

John Doherty —  August 14, 2012
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Every now and then I come across a strategy that is absolutely brilliant and need to share it with the world. I recently came across a strategy like this from Expedia, while doing competitor research for a client. At Distilled, we talk about page types a lot, which basically means your site’s taxonomy. These are all examples of page types:

  • Categories
  • Product pages
  • Guides
  • Homepage

Expedia is combining a few of these in a really smart way that is helping them rank these pages well.

They are putting their guide content on their city hub pages, and getting links for travel guide related keywords that are partial match anchors for their main keywords!

Let’s take a look.

Expedia’s London Hotels Page

Expedia has travel guide URLs for their city hub pages, where each city hub URL ends with “.Travel-Guide-Hotels”. Take a look at their London Hotels page -

Not only do they rank 3rd, behind 2 TripAdvisor URLs and the local 7-pack for [london hotels] -

But they also rank well for [london hotel travel guide] -

Link Perspective

Let’s look at this from a link perspective, both internally and externally.

OpenSiteExplorer tells us that this page has 29 linking root domains -

None of these are external, but Expedia is able to link internally using “travel guide” in the anchor text and it’s completely natural and beneficial to users This is exactly what I covered in my ¬†internal linking Whiteboard Friday -

If I were their SEO, I would be linking more internally to these pages using the [travel guide] related keywords, because there is some search volume opportunity there that would probably convert -

Why This Content Is Smart

So why do I think this is such a great strategy, and why should Expedia work to make their internal linking better to take advantage of these terms?

First, they are putting useful content on the page, which is good for the user experience and for the links experience. They could do more with it, sure, but the basis is there.

Second, they can rank this page for more terms than just their [city + hotels] term.

Third, this strategy makes their site architecture simpler. They do not have to build as many links to the guide now, as they already have links for [london hotels] keywords. This content now inherits the value of those links, making it easier to rank this content for the above shown terms.


I guess there’s not much of a discussion point here. I’d challenge you to think about how you can do this for your own pages, or how you can get links to certain pages (linkbait on product pages, perhaps?) in a smarter way.

John Doherty

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I'm the new (as of October 2013) Online Marketing Manager of Hotpads.com, soon to be based in San Francisco. Previous to Hotpads I worked at Distilled for 2 years as an online marketing consultant. In my spare time I shoot lifestyle photography, explore new and interesting food in New York, ski, rock climb, and update my Twitter and Google+ accounts.

5 responses to Expedia’s Brilliant Page Type Strategy

  1. Anthony Pensabene August 15, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Yo John – I enjoy the sleuthing and remember you mentioning leveraging similar tactics in your WBF.

    This got me thinking of two recent posts:
    Sebald’s http://greenlaneseo.com/blog/2012/07/getting-a-headstart-with-seo-landing-pages/

    and King’s http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2172926/How-to-Maintain-Social-Shares-After-a-Site-Migration

    I wonder if they sporadically updated the hotel guides, put them on a landing page along with a piece of media (video of hotel guide ‘host’ or ‘mascot’ roaming London) or something ‘fresh’, they could enjoy more social signals and then redirect the page to the existing one?

    I like landing pages; I feel the process allows for more room to work outside the existing brand, be creative and focused on one objective.. landing page could explore different colors, fonts, tone, etc.

  2. Hey John – Thanks for sharing this practice. The travel space is pretty interesting right now with the Google acquisition of Frommer and all the competition there. I’d be curious to know how much of Expedia’s SEO work is in-house vs. agency.

  3. Excellent post John!
    I have a question though…when you say you would link more internally to these pages, what do you mean?

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