Last week we saw Interflora UK wiped of the face of the earth, well off of Google anyhow for allegedly breaking their terms and conditions. Here’s what Matt Cutts had to say about buying links and paying for advertorials.
Please be wary if someone approaches you and wants to pay you for links or “advertorial” pages on your site that pass PageRank. Selling links (or entire advertorial pages with embedded links) that pass PageRank violates our quality guidelines, and Google does take action on such violations. The consequences for a linkselling site start with losing trust in Google’s search results, as well as reduction of the site’s visible PageRank in the Google Toolbar. The consequences can also include lower rankings for that site in Google’s search results.
You can see loads of the coverage from last week here http://www.seroundtable.com/google-penalty-advertorials-16412.html AND http://searchengineland.com/will-google-penalize-chromebooks-advertorials-149452
This wasn’t a bolt out of the blue and Interflora UK must have been aware as they started a militant clean up last Aug 2012, contacting bloggers to remove the links that they initially purchased and threatening them with DMCA takedown notice or reporting the links to Google.
So, why are they still sending out vouchers in return for advertorials? This voucher was received last week (19th Feb 2013).
Are they playing with fire or just someone being rather naive?
Image credit Lee Forrest