Reading around the SEO blogs today there seems to be one topic that continues to sprout up. This is the case of Interflora.
Interflora are quite a large brand in the UK and manage the delivery of flowers nationwide. At the height of their powers they were ranking for a range of high traffic keywords including [flowers] and [flower delivery] along with, naturally, their company name. Their off site presence is huge too as I’ve personally seen their logo in a few florists around my local area and have worked with Interflora resellers in the past.
Now, they don’t even rank for their own brand name and have had to invest in what I can only assume is a costly Adwords campaign.
There is widespread speculation on the matter and nothing has been confirmed at all. Interflora have refused to comment with Google stating they generally don’t comment on individual webspam rulings. However one continuous theme seems to be that Interflora were “Rewarding” active and popular bloggers that included a link to their site in a few blog posts.
If this is the case then it looks like Google saw this, not as Interflora rewarding bloggers for good work, but as Interflora actively Paying for links from these bloggers. As we all know Paid links are BAD for SEO. It’s against Google’s terms and conditions and can lead to penalisation.
But before we announce ourselves Judge and Jury making conclusions and accusations, we have to bear in mind that this is all speculation and we actually have no idea why Interflora have been penalised.
We have noticed that active bloggers on Twitter at the minute are reporting that Interflora themselves have requested the links to be removed from the relevant blogs.
A sound strategy you would think, but is this just Interflora introducing this strategy to cover up the real reason why they were penalised by Google? Is there something more sinister at work by the Flower Giants? Odds on we’re never going to know, but it does make for an interesting case, especially for this SEO Company.