Siobhan recently reported on Interflora’s Google penalty for manipulating search results with paid links. It seems that not long (11 days to be precise) after the penalty was issued it has been as good as lifted. Prior to penalisation it ranked in the top three for major flower related terms such as “flowers”, “flower delivery” and “roses”. Shortly after the site was penalised it was appearing for none of its major traffic driving search terms. It looked as though Google had once again laid down the law. However, 11 days later it would appear that the site is back in the search results, although not as high up for some terms.
Recap of Why they Were Penalised
Interflora were penalised for the same reason as thousands of other sites; they were paying for links and they got caught. Many sources are citing regional newspapers as the location of the links, which also led to penalties for these sites. People pay for links to their site as it helps increase position on Google for their search terms. Google doesn’t like paid linking as it is a clear attempt to manipulate their search results. When done ethically and according to the rules, Link building isn’t a problem. You can find out more about link building here.
What Does The Reprieve Mean for the Industry
Google has always stated that their penalties aren’t permanent and sites can recover if adequate action is taken. However it usually takes sites months, if not years to recover from a penalty and sometimes they simply don’t. The only sites that seem to be able to recover in a matter of days are those of major companies. Many SEO’s and industry experts are already moaning about the swift recovery, and how its yet another let off for a big organisation. Google hasn’t commented at any stage of Interflora’s penalty and subsequent reprieve but they did issue a statement warning against manipulative linking tactics. Its simple; if you don’t play by the rules expect to get into trouble. Its best not to stray into the grey area between totally legit tactics and explicitly manipulative ones.
Penalties aren’t forever, at least not for the big guys.
If you are interested in promoting your site through ethical link building and other SEO services Miromedia can help. Get in touch now to find out more.