Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fancy URL Manipulations by the Travel Companies

How many of you have seen the 'magical changing URL' tactic? Watch this:

Classic Search Engine Optimized URL on TripAdvisor.
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Flights-g60713-San_Francisco_California-Cheap_Discount_Airfares.html

Now delete some of the words in the URL, thus:
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Flights-g60713-.html
On this one they use a permanent 301 redirect so it never gets indexed.

And you get the same page. The URL is refreshed to be the original with all the keywords. A permanent 301 redirect is used so it never gets indexed. The display URL is being driven by the combination of 'flights' and the number sequence 'g60713' (which must be the database entry for San Francisco Flights). The rest of the keywords are for search engines.

Clever. TripAdvisor San Francisco flights' page is #1 on Google for:
cheap flights to san francisco
san francisco flights
and a ton of others.

And I said the filename mattered and many disagreed with me. Of course that was back in 2001. I bet they have changed their minds now.



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posted by Barbara 'webmama' Coll @ 12:07 PM     Permanent Link