HolidayCheck AG is the leading hotel review portal of the DACH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) markets. With over 5.5 million hotel reviews, pictures boasting 20-30 million unique page visits each month.
The challenge of search engine optimization for HolidayCheck:
Doing SEO for a platform which has almost 16 million pages is a major challenge and after grasping its sear size, it becomes apparent that content itself is not the only factor why such a great platform needs top SEO specialist which can handle big data.
Online Marketing Specialist – Search Engine Optimization
My primary responsibility was to ensure that all new markets platforms (.COM, .ES, .IT, .CZ, .RU, .CH) were optimized for SEO. I was also an internal SEO consultant and assisted many major company wide projects. As an English native, it was also my task to ensure that all written content on .COM was accurate and relevant to our target audience.
Other duties including but not limited to:
• Increase site content through partnerships / acquisition
• Manage external SEO / Marketing agencies ensuring that all obligations are fulfilled
• Create and maintain relationships with journalists, bloggers and industry leaders.
• SEO reporting for new markets platforms and strategic recommendations
You can find more about what I did on my LinkedIn profile.There are other aspects which I managed that I may not discuss due to a non-disclosure agreements.
What I learn from doing SEO for HolidayCheck AG:
When you do SEO in such a scale, you really start understanding the impact of internal linking and how it can dramatically affect the rankings of major pages which are located deep inside the platform. Finding ways to promote top travel destinations, hotels and POIs on an automated scale is not an easy task, sure you can use Analytic data but the question which always comes up is:
a) Does that destination have a lot of organic traffic because our algorithm has increased its internal position, thus indicating to search engines that more “link juice” / domain rank equity should be associated to that page?
b) If the destination were to rank lower on our site, would it still have the same volume of visitors?
Off-page SEO and HolidayCheck
Another unique factor is how natural hotels and poi’s link to HolidayCheck’s site, so much so, that I needed to monitor our back-link portfolio so that Google did not think we were doing something artificial (which we were not). Every back-link was earn via link bates and hotels just linking to their reviews (Good Content).
As my key strength is DATA, I helped other marketing managers with their online marketing campaigns: one task I had was to find travel related websites and contact them so that they may communicate some of our marketing campaigns. I devised a crawler which would go into the top 20 personal travel blogs, go to the “blogroll” and crawl those blogs for more “blogrolls” I limited the search to 10 levels and found almost 30,000 blogs with and contact information. From there I ranked the blogs based on relevance, Alexa, PageRank, Domain authority and contacted the top 20% with the hope that others would follow.