Interflora, the major UK flower delivery service, is showing up again in Google’s search results — just 11 days after it was penalized.
According to some tweets and posts on Google+, Chris Gilchrist was first to spot Interflora’s resurrection today.
As you can see in the screenshot above, Interflora is ranking again on searches for its company name, and its Google+ brand box is appearing again on the right side of the search results. (As Dan Barker pointed out on Google+, that wasn’t showing during the penalty.) Based on my Google.co.uk searches here in the US, Interflora is also ranking No. 1 for “florist,” but it hasn’t fully regained all of its visibility as this list shows:
- currently 9th for “flowers”
- …7th for “mothers day flowers”
- …8th for “flower delivery”
- …9th for “flowers delivered”
- …10th for “roses”
According to Searchmetrics data that Martin McDonald reported when Interflora was penalized, the company was ranking in the top three for all of those searches (and many others). So, it appears the penalty isn’t completely lifted yet.
Google refused to comment about Interflora’s disappearance from its search results, but two days after the penalty — and another penalty that lowered the visible PageRank of some UK newspapers — Google issued a warning against “advertorials” that pass PageRank.
Many Google penalties are temporary like this, so long as the offender corrects the behavior that went astray from Google’s SEO guidelines. In 2011, J.C. Penney regained its Google visibility after a 90-day timeout. Overstock eventually returned after Google penalized it for a paid link campaign around the same time as the J.C. Penney incident. Even Google’s own properties go through the same process: A year ago, the Google Chrome website was given a 60-day penalty after it was caught running a paid blog posts campaign that violated Google’s guidelines.
In this Interflora case, Google’s timing has been particularly benevolent: The penalty took effect about a week after Valentine’s Day, and has now begun to be lifted one week before the UK celebrates Mother’s Day. Those are two of the most popular flower-buying holidays of the year — second and third in the US, according to AboutFlowers.com, and likely similar in the UK.