The head of Google’s anti-spam team, Matt Cutts, has published another video on YouTube. In this video, he explains why Interflora’s penalty was lifted after just 11 days. He also talks about whether Google has different penalties for different websites?
Why was Interflora’s website penalised?
Some months ago, the website of Interflora (a popular UK flower website) was penalised because the company had purchased many backlinks from various newspaper websites.
Despite this transgression, after just 11 days, the Interflora website was back in Google’s index.
This seems very strange as most websites need several months to recover from Google penalties.
In a YouTube video, Matt Cutts was asked by a webmaster to explain the penalty of the Interflora website.
Unfortunately, Matt Cutts was reluctant to talk about specific penalties or companies. In the video, he said that repeat offenders get hit with a stronger penalty than websites that have used spam techniques for the first time:
“Google tends to look at buying and selling links that pass PageRank as a violation of our guidelines and if we see that happening multiple times, repeated times, then the actions that we take get more and more severe. So we’re more willing to take stronger action whenever we see repeated violations.”
It seems that Interflora was a first time offender and that they weren’t fully aware that the paid links from newspaper websites could cause problems. When Interflora removed the newly purchased links, Google restored the previous rankings of the website.
What does this mean for your website?
If you have received a spam warning message from Google, you should remove all spam elements from your pages and you should try to remove all spammy links that point to your web pages – see our earlier post here
Interflora’s high rankings have been restored because the company previously had high rankings before they acquired the paid links.
If your website received high rankings because of the paid links before Google detected them, it’s likely that your web pages still won’t get high rankings when Google lifts the penalty.
If you want your rankings back, you will need to replace the spammy links with good quality, relevant links. We can help. Call us today on 01273 328877