Thousands of hotel listings in Google+ Local were hijacked to point to third-party booking sites, according to SearchEngine Land.
The listings were supposed to point directly to the hotels’ legitimate sites. Instead, they directed visitors to either RoomsToBook.Info or RoomsToBook.Net. People would then be redirected to third-party booking service Hotelswhiz.com, or to pages within the RoomsToBook sites.
This has led some people to believe it was an inside job by Hotelswhiz, but the director of that site, Karim Mawani, denies any involvement, according to The Guardian.
“We were not involved in the hijackings and we are dealing with the fallout. We reported the redirect issue to Google when we spotted it on 8 January,” Mawani told The Guardian.
It’s unclear why the links were hijacked, but it doesn’t seem like there were any darker motives for changing the info. Google is aware of the problem and is fixing the listings.
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