UK Flower Site Banned from Google for Advertorial Links Sees Rankings Restored

UK flower delivery site Interflora, banished from Google’s UK searches after it placed about 150 advertorials on regional news sites, is out of the penalty box after only 11 days – a timely return to the search results ahead of Mothering Sunday.

It wasn’t initially clear at first why Inteflora was no longer ranking for its own name or terms such as [flowers] or [flower delivery]. But an analysis on David Naylor’s blog revealed the aggressive advertorial campaign Interflora embarked on ahead of Valentine’s Day:


After Interflora and several UK newspapers were punished, it became clear in a Google Webmaster Central blog post by Google's Distinguished Engineer Matt Cutts that at issue were “advertorial” pages. Google advised anyone who receives a warning for selling links to remove paid links or advertorial pages or use rel=nofollow on paid links, and then submit a reconsideration request.

As Dan Barker noted on Google+, Interflora has done a lot of cleaning up, ranking for their name and highly for [flower delivery], though it hasn’t quite regained its rankings for [flowers].

The Interflora penalty is much shorter than what JCPenney and Overstock had to endure a couple years back. And it’s quite good news for them ahead of what is one of the biggest flower holidays.

About the author

Danny Goodwin formerly was Associate Editor of Search Engine Watch, where he also covered the latest search marketing and industry news. He joined Incisive Media in October 2007, in charge of copy editing columns that appeared on both Search Engine Watch and ClickZ. Prior to a life in the search industry, he worked in the journalism field, working in numerous newsroom positions, before later working as a freelance copy editor.