27 February 2013

Flowers don't make Google forgive

By John McMahon

If ever there was a time to ensure your SEO tactics are whiter than white then that time is now. If you missed the news try searching Google for "send flowers" or even "Interflora". The best known flower brand in the UK simply won't appear - except as a paid ad.

Google seems to have completely removed Interflora from its listings and although there has been no official comment as yet it seems this is Google showing us all who is boss yet again. If they can block big brands like this for questionable tactics they can block anyone.

The biggest worry is that Interflora hasn't done anything exceptionally bad here. I won't go into the full detail as there are plenty of in depth and high tech articles on the details out there for you to read. Basically it appears that they purchased over 150 advertorials across high profile news sites in the run up to Valentine's Day. Each of these contained a link back to their web site. This may seem innocent enough but Google feels this tactic to boost your page rank has been overused, especially by the big brands with big money to spend and they sent out a warning last week. Then took this dramatic action.

Google is getting more and more sophisticated in the way it ranks your site and it is getting harder and harder to sustain a front page listing. The only way to maintain your listing is careful, methodical and ethical SEO sustained over a long period of time. No quick fixes (see email from India in your Inbox - "SEO your site will we fast 1,000 links 2 dollar only thank you sir") and no purchasing of links. Add in lots of social media activity is also recommended this year as Google will most certainly be scoring on that and then a good clean SEO strategy that slowly but surely climbs you up the rankings and keeps you there for years rather than just a few weeks.

I know a company that does a bit of SEO and Social Media by the way! They'd love to speak to you.

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