On the 20th February 2013 the official website for Interflora, reported to be the UK's longest serving flower delivery network, was penalised by the Google after a reported breach of the search engine's guidelines. The website is still not ranking on Google for any phrases related to its brand as of the 27 February 2013. For a business this drop in traffic, and subsequent revenue, is likely to be significant.
What can a business do in these circumstances to lessen the impact, in the short term?
The screen grab below highlights the Google search listing for the brand phrases of Interflora on the 27 February 2013
Interflora PPC Spend
The company is likely to see an increase in volume through a brand search on Google AdWords PPC. Since users are not able to find the organic listing, the majority of users are likely to click through paid search adverts to site, and the cost of these will rise. Some consolation for Interflora is that their AdWords Click-Through-Rate is likely to increase and their quality score is likely to increase meaning they are likely to be paying slightly less for clicks than prior to the Google Ban.
Extra competition on PPC
Given the increased exposure of Interflora in the news, their competitors are likely to want to capitalise on the bad press in the Google AdWords listings. If a brand is not trademark protected then competitors could bid on brand terms and push the price of these terms up on the client’s cost per click.
Voucher Codes Now Rank Number One for Brand Terms
Currently the site in first position for the term is an affiliate of Interflora and the company will continue to generate revenue through brand searches but will lose margin to the affiliate as part of its sale commissions.
Industry reaction to Google Penalty
It is important that Interflora understand the quantity and the content of the stories which are being written at the moment. HitSearch's Reputation Management software collects the online "buzz" that occurs on the Internet and segments this information into a report on positive and negative press. Armed with this information, Interflora would then be able to assess the impact of bad press and develop appropriate strategies to lessen its impact.