Okay here's a story gathering online traction:
Google has pulled the SEO ranking of Interflora for its own brand
name as well as generic related topics such as ‘flowers’, ‘flower
delivery’ and ‘florist’, which would usually have brought the company to
the top of the search list.
The penalty is thought to have been imposed as a result of
'unnatural' link-buidling, backed up by Tweets seen by The Drum that
suggest that the florist has been actively asking for paid-links in
stories to be removed in the last day, indicating that this is what the
company is being punished for. However one industry insider has told The
Drum that he doesn't believe this to be the reason for the punishment,
adding that this tactic was to put Google 'off the scent' of the real
issue, which is still the cause of speculation.
- Google isn't saying what happened (helpful)
- There is no way for the brand to remedy the situation short time (any organic penalties are long-term timescales for sorting out: read my business in short term is ruined unless I pay). PPC wins and they are unsurprisingly using it.
- The agency that is going SEO gets hammered by something that they couldn't control (we could argue this but we won't).
- Manipulation of the art holier than thou algo is being touted as a few random tweets suggesting that Interflora "paid" by sending bloggers some flowers and got links out of it.
What to do:
it might be a little bit unconventional but the roamap that I know quite a number are now following is:
1. Spam, 2. Spam even harder. and 3. Spam some more. it ironic that now that is simply a case of getting a link (I've been saying spamming is the only way to go for years, just pleased that finally everyone caught up!).
Content is not rewarded in terms of ranking, it costs a lot of money, people will nick it and Google doesn't care. So push a button.
Why should it work?
Because Google's is sytematically trying to case study all the practices of effective SEO by scaring people away from tactics and strategies that algorhythmically they cannot actually address.
As mentioned in other threads. The high traffic delivering keywords are being hoovered up by Google. I cited travel as a key industry with G's hotelfinder, but there are other products too and more will evolve. Google flowers will probably popup or some kind of consolidated product in the near future.
On a positive note websites that don't have anything to sell should do quite well out of this change and will not be affected by this commercial toying with results.
ps coincidence that position #3 for interflora in Google is a blog post about the SEO penalty!
Edited by glyn, 25 February 2013 - 04:37 AM.