Google may have been compromised by an “inside job” after a third party altered settings on the tech giant’s Google+ hotel listings to divert users to an external commercial site instead of the correct business URLs, it has been claimed.
Google uses its verfied Google+ listings to inform its Google Maps and Google search services, meaning that any user clicking on links on a range of services would be re-directed to websites ‘Roomstobook.net’ and ‘Roomstobook.info’, which then referred users on to third-party booking services such as Hotelswhiz.com.
While individual users of Google+ can have some access to altering information for business of place listings, it’s thought that a problem on such a big scale could point towards the culprit being within Google itself.
Matthew Hoff of PR company Merkle told the Guardian: “My prediction is, this was an inside job with someone at Google. Not to be a conspiracy theorist, but any and all modified URLs have to be okay’ed by a Maps moderator.”
The problem was uncovered by Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land who revealed the information in a blog posting.