Interflora – Blossoming once more.

Last week I reported that Interflora’s SEO got them penalised by Google. It seems now that whatever it was that Interflora was doing or had done, they’ve stopped doing or removed.

It was alledged that Interflora were penalised for buying links, which is of course against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. They did this by “Rewarding” influential Bloggers in the floristry industry for including links to their website in their blog posts. It was reported by a few of these Bloggers on Twitter that Interflora contacted them requesting the link to their site on the blog post to be removed.

This seems to have done the trick. Interflora at first was not even showing for the search term “Interflora”. A sign of a heavy penalisation by Google, but also a manual penalisation.

Things like this are sometimes detected by Google’s algorithm, where Google’s spider will crawl your website, find something it doesn’t like and then lower your rankings in accordance with how much it didn’t like what you’ve done. Naughty naughty.

But in the more severe cases, Google will manually apply a penalisation against you. As in Interflora’s case where they were removed from appearing in Google, they fixed the offending issue, and were placed back into the Google listings just as before (albeit with a slight drop in rankings).

What does seem to be strange is that it took just 11 days after the initial drop for Interflora to regain it’s place in the SERPs. Google estimates a time period of weeks for a reconsideration request, so how did Interflora get placed back on Google in such quick time?

Are Google currently experiencing a dip in reconsideration requests? Did Interflora’s high profile shoot them ahead of others in the queue?

Or, was it actually something they’ve done onsite and the whole reward for links think was a distraction? Google’s crawler could have found something it didn’t like on the site, and issued and alert to Google’s webspam team who then applied the penalisation. Then, when crawling the site again after having the offending something removed, would Google’s crawler issue another alert to say that the offensive something had been removed?

What do you think?