We Are Social boss criticises SEO 'paid link' strategy following Google's Interflora disciplining

After Google penalised Interflora by having its SEO ranking effectively nullified, the company’s former social media agency We Are Social’s global managing director has criticised the flower company's ‘paid’ link approach.

When asked, Robin Grant told The Drum that the issue appeared to be the result of Interflora not taking “ a socially-led approach” to its marketing, reverting instead to “effectively paid links”.

He continued: "Our award winning ‘Random acts of kindness’ campaign for Interflora in 2010 was creative, personal and generated huge word of mouth, without asking anything of the bloggers involved. This kind of ‘earned’ coverage is the antithesis of asking someone to include a link just because you have the budget to send them product in exchange.

"The practice of SEO agencies approaching bloggers and buying links is an issue not just for Interflora, but for the whole industry, as they're effectively poisoning the water for those agencies and brands who are taking an ethical approach."

Neither Interflora or Google have yet explained the reason behind the action.

Stephen Lepitak

Stephen Lepitak is editor of The Drum, with responsibility for overseeing the day-to-day running of the content produced for the various platforms run by the publication. Over the years he has interviewed agency network bosses such as Sir Martin Sorrell, Maurice Lévy and Arthur Sadoun, as well as Cindy Gallop, Kim Kardashian, film directors James Cameron, Spike Jonze, Richard Curtis and Lord David Puttnam. With a keen interest in media and breaking news, Lepitak has been with The Drum since 2005 and is based across its UK, US and Asia operations.

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