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 "roomstobook.info" or "roomstobook.net" on Google Plus listings.

As of Tuesday evening, those domains redirected to hotelswhiz.com, a booking site. It claims in its terms and conditions to be part of ian.com, 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 jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Googleantispamsecurity

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

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

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?