Last week we saw Interflora removed from Google’s search result pages after accusations that the company was exploiting links to improve its page rank. And it’s not only Interflora who have been penalised for misconduct, the newspapers that carried its advertorials have had their page ranks reduced. For example the Independent dropped from a Page rank 8 to a 4.
Both Google and Interflora have declined to make a comment, which has led to much speculation from bloggers and SEO experts, such as Interflora regularly buying over 150 advertorials at every key sales period (Christmas, valentines, etc) But the general account is that they have been for paying newspapers to publish advertorials on their websites with links back to their site, infringing with Google’s regulations that paid advertorials that feature links must have a no follow tag, which Interflora did not abide by. Google doesn’t want the buying of links to influence its search results; it makes the searches deceptive and goes against everything Google stands for.
It is becoming more apparent that the search leader is driving the crusade against bad SEO practices that fall outside of its guidelines.
Google rewards websites that earn links by engaging significant content. They want searches to be organic and relevant, meaning not only do users get exactly what they’re searching for but that the smaller businesses stand a better chance of going up against the bigger firms with the deeper pockets.