How local newspaper advertorial helped lead to Interflora’s Google downfall

Google’s penalty to Interflora looks like it originates in part from local newspaper advertorial content.

High profile big brand SEO penalties don’t come along that often, so Interflora getting excluded from Google results is probably going to make news. It looks like the florist had gone to great lengths to give freebies to bloggers in return for links, and this has come back to haunt them. According to SEO blogger Martin Macdonald, Interflora are no longer ranking for terms like flower or florist, and I’ve seen myself that they don’t come up until page three in Google when I search for their brand name.

Interflora on page 3 of Google

Interflora on page 3 of Google for their own name

Anthony Shapley has been digging around into it, and one of the suspect sets of content he has identified is a surge in advertorial placement for Interflora on local and regional newspapers in the UK leading up to Valentine’s day. Anthony also notes that a lot of local newspaper sites also appear to have taken a Google penalty in the last few days.

Interflora advertorials

Local newspaper advertorial listed in Google.

Given that they have a paid search marketing budget, it is still an Interflora ad you see at the top of search results when you type their name into Google. Always interesting, of course, that Google feel they can sell their own links to Interflora through AdWords, whilst punishing them for buying them elsewhere.

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