As you may already be aware the large UK Florist Interflora have been hit by a Google penalty, wiping out the search positions. Interflora have done a great job to cover the gaps left from the drop in organic search traffic, although it may never become clear how much impact the drop had. So what lessons can we learn from Interflora, how have they maintained their success despite the drop and why did they get the penalty in the first place?
Why Did Interflora Get The Penalty In The First Place?
Although it has not 100% been confirmed yet, it is believed that the penalty has been as a result of paying for links. Interflora have tried to get around the penalty by awarding people gifts offline when they blog about their products. Google do state that this is against their advertising policy and are fairly hot on things like this. Google pride themselves on delivering quality search results and although some results are questionable at times, they do have a web spam team dedicated to fighting low quality sites that rank high due to using unnatural techniques.
The reason that the alarm bells started ringing after Interflora had been hit was when bloggers started to tweet that they had been told to remove any links they have pointing to the Interflora site.
Dont Try to Cheat the System
Unfortunately, no matter how much you try you will not out smart Google. The Google Algorithm is constantly changing but the fundamental rules are there to be seen in black and white, you cannot pay for links. The act of giving gifts off line is just the same as paying someone in cash to link to your site.
The only way you can get quality links is by offering a good service and by creating quality content.
What Other Areas Of Marketing Should You Consider?
You may want to consider looking at other areas of marketing. One of the reasons why Interflora did not worry too much about the drop in organic positions is because they had already established their brand using offline material such as print material. Businesses like Interflora that offer gifts that are bought annually rely a lot of repeat customers. Having already got a postal address from the customer and with the person already being the customer you will expect a repeat purchase. This works well in industries such as travel insurance which is a very competitive market.
One area that Interflora do well is social media, this is another area that works well especially as people trust companies their friends have bought from before. Google are trying to get into the social media market with Google+ although at the moment their is not enough users to be essential. Promotional Products and Bags
A great way to market your business is for other people to do it for you. By producing promotional products such as promotional bags customers will put your brand in-front of people that are outside your business.
Article By Daisy Burgess – Professional blogger for offline marketing companies including Bag Store