This week we saw Travelbag.co.uk hit with a Google penalty, where they are not even appearing for brand terms
Having a quick look at the site it seems they have hundreds of poor directory links coming into various page, and have tried to hide them by 301 redirect old pages to new pages. e.g.
http://www.travelbag.co.uk/Destinations/Australasia/Australia/Holidays/ 301 redirects to http://www.travelbag.co.uk/holidays/australasia/australia
This penalty comes after Expedia was also hit a while back, Google is rolling out more penalties than ever and not affraid to hit brands. If you run a travel site, we advise to have a close look at your link profile and make sure it is squeeky clean. Google is also going after guest posts and hitting sites with commercial anchor text in author bios.
What should you do?
– Use an expert to audit your backlinks and disavow/remove any low quality links
– Ensure you do not have a high percentage of guest posts on your blog or at least do not give bloggers commercial anchor text in their bios. If you are running WordPress and have used Myguestblog for content, you can get a plugin to nofollow all outbound links.