Content Marketing Weekly Trumpets

Why Google Weeded Out Interflora: SEO Experts Sound Off

Today our weekly Trumpets are all focused on the Google Ban of Interflora.  Interflora is headquartered in the UK, and according to their website they run the largest flower delivery network in the world. They have been in business for 90 years so Google banning then is a big and very public ordeal.

You can see in this chart that Interflora is a very popular brand so the SEO community has been buzzing about why they were banned.

Using Ahrefs we can also see a huge spike in the amount of referring domains in a very short amount of time.
Large spike in referring domains to Interflora.

The Best Interflora Articles:
You can learn a lot about link building and SEO by reading the following posts.

Martin Macdonald wrote an Interflora SEO Penalty Analysis on February 21st.  It was one of the first post to get a lot of traction inside of the community.  The post itself gives you the basics of the ban and drop in traffic.

However, the most valuable part of the article is the discussion in the comments.  The post already has over 165 comments and they are well worth reading.

Anthony Shapley wrote a What Really Happened post on February the 22nd that really gets to the heart of the problem. Anthony keys in on paid Advertorials in regional newspapers and he estimates they bought 150+ Advertorials in preparation for Valentines day.

Anthony goes on to note the massive drop in PageRank for most of the newspapers involved in the Advertorial campaign.

List of banned newspapers selling advertorials.
(view full list)

This post has over 90 comments with a lot of smart people adding their thoughts.

David Gerrard also posted a very data driven piece about Interflora on February the 22nd.

David is able to quickly uncover anchor text abuse, paid links and some very aggressive internal linking. David concludes that a combination of aggressive SEO practices is what doomed Interflora.

One easy takeaway from David’s post is to do a similar analysis on your own sites.

Do you like data? I bet you don’t like data as much as Christoph Cemper. His Interflora Bad Link Analysis post on February the 24th was simply amazing. He concludes that over 70% of the links pointing to Interflora are Toxic/Susupicious!

Again, read the comments they are good!

Lastly, I found an interesting piece by Jason Mun where he interviews some prominent Australian SEO’s such as Dan Petrovic and asks for their take on the Interflora Penalty.

Jason also has some thoughts from ex-Googler, Andre Weyher that you may find interesting.

Closing Thoughts:
Use this as an opportunity to conduct similar research on your own website. If you can tell right away that your backlink profile is suspicious, so can everyone else. Get started cleaning these links up now and disavow any that you can’t get removed.

Going forward put your money into earned links and social engagement through kickass content.

Lastly, whenever there is a big story like this in your industry take note of who comments, blogs and socially shares these stories. You can create a fantastic outreach list of very engaged people in your industry by doing this…but that is a post for another day.


A.J. Ghergich

I help companies attract links and social engagement through Content Marketing. Follow me on twitter for Content Marketing tips and the latest on the SEO industry.

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