SEO mystery: Interflora vanishes from Google search after Valentine's promotion

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In February 2013, Interflora disappeared from the front page of Google’s natural search results, fuelling speculation that the florist has breached the search engine’s guidelines. The flower delivery service's home page fell off the first page of Google's results when searching for the term 'Interflora' and ’Flowers’ (see screen shot above). Google refused to give a reason for the block, but did cite ‘webspam‘ in its answer to queires.

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Brand: Interflora | Sector: Florist, FMCG | Country: UK | Objective: Brand positioning, drive engagement, Seasonal promotion | Format: SEO, Google, AdWords, Newspapers |

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The florist returned to natual listings roughly a week after its dissapearance. For the time between 20th- 28th February, the Interflora website did not on Google for key phrases related to its brand.

The flower delivery service's home page fell off the first page of Google's results when searching for the term 'Interflora' and ’Flowers’ (see screen shot above).

Interflora's paid links remained there, but there was no sign of its home page in the organic listings, instead showing rivals such as Tesco and Marks and Spencer Flowers.

By comparison, the florist appeared right at the top of the search results when conducting similar searches on Bing or DuckDuckGo.

Google refused to give a reason for the block, but did cite ‘webspam ‘ in its answer to queires.

The disappearance was first noticed when digital marketing blog Search Engine Land asked the search giant confirm if they have penalised Interflora for any reason, and Google would not comment.

They said:

We typically don’t comment on whether we’ve taken corrective webspam action regarding specific companies.

Meanwhile, Anthony Shapley, who worked for UK SEO firm Bronco noted that Interflora's Valentine's Day preparations may have seen it penalised by Google.

He saw that Interflora placed more than 150 advertorials on regional news sites across the UK in the days and weeks leading up to Valentine's Day, in a move to boosts its listing in Google's index.

This is not the first time Interflora has been involved in legal tussles over search rankings. Back in 2011, the florist was locked in a feud with M&S, claiming the supermarket infringed trademarks by using ‘Interflora’ as a Google AdWord.

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