Google has taken action against airline deal web sites, such as Expedia, TripAdvisors and others, for misusing product rich snippets in their structured data markup. Essentially, Google took manual action against airline sites by removing their rich snippets in the search results, for using this markup when showing price data for flight destination pages.
Google’s John Mueller confirmed it yesterday morning while on a Google Hangout. He said, “So that is kind of what the team took action on there. We noticed that these pages were making up multiple different types of products in a way that you would for one product.”
Here is the full transcript:
I double-checked about this just before the Hangout, actually. We didn’t actually change anything. What we did notice was a bunch of sites were using this as a way to kind of mark up a variety of products instead of just one product. So we hope that the price markup on a page is specific to one product and you are talking about a page like flights to Berlin, then that is like tons of different products, essentially. Like different flights from different locations going to Berlin, so it is very hard to say, well, it makes sense to mark that up with price rich snippets to show that in the search results because it is essentially all different kinds of products on the same page.
So that is kind of what the team took action on there. We noticed that these pages were making up multiple different types of products in a way that you would for one product.
Google has taken action against rich snippet spam for many years now. This seems to have been applied widely to the airline travel web sites across the board.
You can listen to the question and answer yourself in this video starting at the 47-second mark into the Hangout.
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