LastMinute.com has seen a 46 per cent fall in organic visibility on Google, which may be due to a negative SEO attack.
While it still holds the number one position for its branded terms, its ranking for terms such as ‘restaurants’, ‘hotels’ and ‘cheap flights’ have fallen.
Colin McDermott, head of SEO at Banc Media, said: “This is a big penalty, and seems to be coinciding with a noticeable increase in larger corporate sites being hit recently.
“According to today’s Searchmetrics UK winners and losers report, LastMinute.com have been hit by a 46 per cent fall in organic visibility, from 244,640 to 132,607.
“Whether it caused the problem or not, it appears LastMinute.com may have been the victim of a fairly severe negative SEO attack.
“Filtering the anchor text links for typical spam terms reveals some a huge amount of dodgy links using some very nasty pharma keywords.”
Several brands, including Expedia, have so far been caught out with the online travel brand having suffered a 25 per cent drop in its organic search visibility. Interflora also suffered a massive fall in rankings.
Google's algorithms detect many spam techniques and automatically demote the sites that use them, Searchmetrics warns.
LastMinute.com has not replied to a request for comment.