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Internet marketing experts say Teleflora, FTD, 1800Flowers.com and ProFlowers are trying to elevate their Web sites in search results with a strategy that violates Google’s guidelines.
The flower companies deny it. But all four have links on Web sites that are riddled with paid links, many of which include phrases like “mothers day flowers,” “mothers day arrangements” and “cheap mothers day flowers.”
[edited by: tedster at 3:23 pm (utc) on May 7, 2011]
[edit reason] I added the link [/edit]
“None of the links shared by The New York Times had a significant impact on our rankings, due to automated systems we have in place to assess the relevance of links.
I think there might be a hidden agenda behind these articles.
How hard is it to prove G discounts or ignores those links via the algo?
Google’s spam team studied the list...and sent this statement...“None of the links shared by The New York Times had a significant impact on our rankings, due to automated systems we have in place to assess the relevance of links. As always, we investigate spam reports and take corrective action where appropriate.”
In essence, Google said that these companies tried to game its algorithm, but for the most part, their efforts failed.
Well I see those companies at 1, 2 and 4 right now in Google.com for 'mothers day flowers'.
If Google's algorithm was working properly then these links would be clocked and eliminated automatically.
Someone is working in cahoots with NYT to make these sites and Google look bad.
Think about this:
How much e-commerce passes through Google serps.
Google can make or break any online company (organic Serps vs. expensive paid adwords)
Google says we can handle this and handle it fairly.
So the question is how do we know?
With all due respect, I don't buy into any of the conspiracy theories.
People read the business section of the Times because they want to know how others are making money. The Times is reporting that others are making money by paying for links.
You might view it as "tattling," or you might view it as the NYT simply telling their readers that this is a money making opportunity. It is just a BUSINESS story, but since we are so close to the subject, I think we are reading way too much into it.
If you were an editor and you were scooped by a rival publication on something like this on a regular basis, you could probably look forward to a demotion pretty quickly.
The fact that now they are going after Google time and time again tells me something.
and embarrassing Google in the process.
How did you come to the conclusion that the links are actually helping their rankings?
In 0.18 seconds, Google led me to 1.9 million pieces of advice, both good and suspect. Drink plenty of water and try to tough it out, but go to the doctor if it doesn’t go away — that seemed to be the consensus. But also among the search results were how-to articles like one saying that if I sipped tea brewed from ground celery seeds or corn silk, the stone would pass within hours. My laughter didn’t reduce the pain.