Spammers target Google hospitality listings

The listing were modified to redirect to what appear to be affiliate marketing websites

Spammers targeted hospitality-related business listings on Google services, modifying links in what appeared to be an attempt to drive traffic to a hotel bookings site.

Google said Tuesday it was aware of and working to fix the issues, first reported by the blog Search Engine Land.

The spam campaign replaced direct links to the websites of Marriott, Hilton, Holiday Inn and many other hotels to the domains "" or "" on Google Plus listings.

As of Tuesday evening, those domains redirected to, a booking site. It claims in its terms and conditions to be part of, which redirects to a website owned by travel giant Expedia explaining its affiliate marketing program, the Expedia Affiliate Network.

That program pays a commission to website operators who integrate Expedia's inventory of hotel listings into custom-built websites to sell more bookings.

Affiliate marketing programs and their participants often have to be vigilant against spammers, who sign up for the programs in attempts to make commissions from shifting traffic around.

Expedia could not be immediately reached despite a call and an email to its public relations company.

Send news tips and comments to Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags securityGoogleantispam

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments



Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?