Anyone searching for the term ‘Interflora’ presently will be in for somewhat of a surprise. Whilst the flower delivery service’s paid ads still appear at the top of the SERP, a scroll down the page will reveal no mention in the organic listings.
Indeed, at the time of writing, you need to go all the way through to page five of Google’s search results to find direct mention of interflora.co.uk. Even then, it is halfway down the page.
It all stems from a Valentine’s Day promotion the company ran last month, in which it planted links on more than 150 regional news sites across the UK. Not liking paid for links, the search engine stepped in and dead-headed the spurious search engine optimisation practice.
The search giant has also taken it upon itself to issue a warning to publishers and SEO companies in regards to staying within its PageRank rules. Taking to his blog, Anti-spam master Matt Cutts wrote:
“Please be wary if someone approaches you and wants to pay for links or ‘advertorial’ pages on your site that pass PageRank.
“Selling links (or entire advertorial pages with embedded links) that pass PageRank violates our quality guidelines, and Google does take action on such violations.”
Going on to say that it is recommended that both the buying and selling of links is avoided, Cutts reiterated the risk of losing ranking, though did not mention Interflora directly.
It’s unlikely there will be a thank you bouquet sent to Google Towers from Interflora any time soon though, with other flower related search terms also restricted.