SEO Blunder Set To Cost Interflora Dearly
Negative Search Engine Optimisation With Advertorial Advertising
Interflora have been penalised by Google for trying to manipulate its PageRank. When searching for common search terms targeted by Interflora earlier this week they were nowhere to be found.
PageRank is how Google scores different websites for influence, 0 being not on Google's radar, up to 10, which is a highly influential website.
Google has not only penalised Interflora by removing the website from its search ranking, but it has also punished the newspapers that carried its advertorial by reducing their page rank. The Border Telegraph has dropped from 6 to 0, while The Independent has dropped from 8 to 4.
By using 'advertorials', Interflora tried using paid advertising to improve their perceived importance on the Internet. This makes advertorial ads a tricky proposition for SEO companies and publishers who often sell this type of advertising based on its supposed ability to improve a business's search engine optimisation ranking.
For many marketing managers, advertorial advertising seems like a great solution to their SEO headache, many sold an idea it will achieve magical SEO results for their company. However, with many marketing managers not being search engine experts the results can do real damage to a business, as they may not realise it could have a devastating negative search engine optimisation effect.
"Selling links or entire advertorial pages with embedded links that pass PageRank violates our quality guidelines, and Google does take action on such violations. The consequences for a link-selling site start with losing trust in Google's search results, as well as reduction of the site's visible PageRank in the Google Toolbar. The consequences can also include lower rankings for that site in Google's search results," said Google.
The high profile 'SEO penalty', or penalisation of Interflora by Google, is a reminder that even the biggest brands are not immune to Google's views on what constitutes manipulation of its search engine results.