Expedia's Google penalty case study - behind scenes

I've just finished my biggest case ever and I still have a little bit of steam in me, so I've decided to create this post before I pass out :) I might read it after I rest and delete it (I am talking nonsense when I don't sleep enough), so read while its online.


Last 5 days I was completely focused only on Expedia's Case Study, so I am a little bit behind my blogging schedule. Sorry for that!

Expedia.com: A deep-dive into Unnatural Travel Link Schemes
 

I managed to get it assigned to me by Christoph C. Cemper from Link Research Tools. I was interested in this case from the start and it was a huge, huge challenge to work on such a large site. After finishing with Expedia, I need to eat a big, fat, yellow banana or I will go completely nuts.

I wasn't fully aware of what I am going into till I saw a 120.000.000 CSV link report on my Dropbox account.

meme-120 mln links

First and very simple problem was, that I didn't know how to open it (there was no software able to open it). What looked like 2 days work, turned out to be a 6 days marathon with almost no sleep :).Greatest SEO challenge and experience ever. Soon after I've started my work, my Facebook status started to change to more and more bizarre ones.

facebook status

90% of my "nightime" Facebook posts were deleted by me in the morning with a strange and mixed feelings of "why did I post such a f..d up stuff?". It might be like that with this post as I am still sleep deprived.

Looking at Cemper's team working with him and being a part of it for a second did show me, how hard this guys work everyday. Christoph was online 24/7 to answer my questions, even thought he was jet lagged and had loads of other stuff going on. Don't tell him, but I think he never sleeps! :) Cemper's team has everything organized to the minute. When looking at their "behind scenes" I now see why their tools are so great and nicely polished. 


Expedia's case study in numbers:

85 hours of work to analyse and document the whole case study

50 reports in Link Research Tools

5 days from the start to deadline

50 coffees at roughly 10 coffees a day

191 files in my Expedia folder

expedia folder

12 rewrites and edits before releasing

3 proof readers to correct my awesome English grammar :) (Special thanks to Charlie - my brother in law for editing it at 4 am)

435 grammar mistakes in my first draft (made me decide to work on my grammar a little bit more)

1200 comments under this post (I hope)

53 emails sent to "investigate" the case a little bit more

7 CSV opening programs, before I've found "the one"

84 times I bothered Christoph C. Cemper on Facebook chat with questions (man has a huge patience) :)

7 minutes I was counting the above :)

381 screenshots with Gyazo (I can't imagine doing a case study without it) 

gyazo-screen

OK enough with the numbers. What is uncountable is the experience I got after that and some more "self believe" points after I managed to finish such a huge case.


MUST HAVE tools while working on a case study:

Gyazo - it is really a "must have" software. I can't imagine working without it.

  • Creates a screenshot within 2 - 3 seconds and gives you a link to it in a new browser tab.
  • Lets you add arrows, selections and text within seconds. Every screenshot in Expedia's case study was done with this tool.

Notepad++ - working on a raw txt links (Windows Notepad is too slow)

Scrapebox - working on a links lists (Deduplicating domains or links), searching for large footprints and checking for links there.

Link Research Tools - of course a must have for me, no comment here.

8tracks.com - I don't know about, you but I can't focus when it's quiet :)

Systrix - shows you recent traffic and position changes of most websites. Also great tool for optimizing websites etc.

SearchMetrics - great competition, traffic and keyword check

The Action Machine - if you want to be super productive, use it!

OK, that's it, I am going to sleep now and might delete this post tomorrow :)

And for you, as there is nothing special here - go and read Expedia.com: A deep-dive into Unnatural Travel Link Schemes. I've heard it is a pretty awesome case study :)

If you already read that case study, there is nothing left for you, but to check out my SEO services offer.

Bartosz-Goralewicz-Certified-LRT-Professional
 



Bartosz-goralewicz-word-from-christoph-cemper


 

Bartosz Góralewicz

Bartosz Góralewicz is the CEO at Elephate, an SEO agency that specializes in preventing and curing technical SEO issues for businesses of all sizes, including renowned international corporations. He is passionate about sharing his expertise and frequently publishes thorough case studies. In his off time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two young baby girls.

bartosz góralewicz