I found something very interesting today while looking for a hotel in Paris and think it’s a pretty great way to drive traffic to a domain name, although I am not exactly sure if it’s legit if Google were to know about. I am not going to name the url but want to share this story anyway.
I found a hotel that looked interesting to me via Orbitz, and I wanted to see where it was located in the city. I did a Google search for it, and the top result was the Google Local business listing, which contained the address, map, phone number, and url for the hotel (3 hyphen .com name).
When I clicked the url and opened it in a new window, it was a hotel booking engine that looked very familiar to me. It was a one page website, and although it was in French, I saw that there was very little to the website aside from the booking engine. A Whois search confirmed what I suspected, and the domain name was privately owned and unrelated to the hotel.
I don’t know if this is legit and/or against Google’s TOS, but it’s pretty ingenious for a company or person to have their domain name inserted into the Google Local result, especially when that comes up #1. Ironically, the hotel’s official website is ranked #3 for a search of the hotel, with TripAdvisor.com coming in at #2.