Tech Stocks Inching Higher; Expedia In Penalty Bin As Loses Google Visibility

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Technology stocks are slightly higher today with shares of technology companies in the S&P 500 gaining about 0.2%.

In company news, Expedia Inc. ( EXPE ) has declined around 4% following news reports of "unnatural link penalties" recently reducing its visibility on Google's search engine by as much as 25%. GOOG shares were up about 0.8% and hit fresh 52 week highs.

Search Engine Land, an online news website covering the Search Engine Optimization business Monday posted an article reporting EXPE has lost a quarter of its search visibility as measured by Search Metrics.

The decline has its roots in a Dec. 19 blog post by Nenad SEO, an agency that helps company clients improve their online visibility accusing EXPE of using paid links and over-optimized anchor words to raise its position in Google searches. That led to an extended discussion on another online forum, Hacker News, with participants writing about the tactics EXPE and other companies allegedly use to rise to the top of search engine rankings, and ultimately to the Search Engine Land article Monday afternoon.

In an email message to Search Engine Land, a GOOG spokesperson wrote the company "typically (doesn't) comment on specific companies regarding search rankings." None of the articles have responses by EXPE about the accusations.

In other sector news,

(+) BBRY, (+8.3%) Defense Information Systems Agency is set to deploy around 80,000 Blackberry smart phones by Jan. 31 for the Pentagon's mobile device management system. Also, Citron Research writes Monday "it is (our) opinion that it is suicidal to bet against well-capitalized, strong management in the enterprise mobile space."

(-) IBM, (-0.7%) Reportedly again talking about a sale of its x86 server business to Lenovo, which Monday in a statement said it was "in preliminary negotiations" for a potential deal without naming the other company. The firms discussed a similar deal last year but the discussions broke down when the sides could not agree on a price.



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Referenced Stocks: EXPE

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