Airbnb was recently caught using embeddable widgets to allegedly enhance its search engine optimization. From the company’s standpoint, it’s offering HTML badges to help hosts promote their listings. It practice, the company is offering embeddable widgets with followed backlinks, which is considered a link scheme by Google’s definition. According to a 2015 study, Airbnb is being outperformed in search results by companies that have been in this space for much longer periods of time. Companies like HomeAway and TripAdvisor, for example. Interestingly enough, TripAdvisor offers widgets of its own, but they differ slightly from how Airbnb has coded its widgets. TripAdvisor’s widgets all link back to the site’s home page, which is what you might naturally expect when clicking on a promotional piece for a company. Airbnb’s widgets link to pages that would otherwise not receive many natural links, such as links to Airbnb search results pages. Placing such a widget on your site means you’re not only linking back to your own listing, you’re linking to a search page featuring every available listing in the area. Get the full story at Search Engine Journal and All About AirBnB