Friday, October 10, 2008

Thanksgiving Flowers

With Thanksgiving looming on the horizon many online floral entities are in the process of mounting their SEO marketing campaigns. The focus is of course to rank high for the key-phrase “thanksgiving flowers.” For those who already rank in the top 10 in Google, the pressure is on to either maintain their current placement or increase. This pressure especially holds true for the webmaster that currently holds that #1 position.

How do I know about this pressure? Well, because I am the webmaster/SEO for the website that currently ranks 1st. I always stress-out when it comes to holidays because I know the difference between ranking 1st, and say, 3rd is vast as far as volume is concerned.

So stressful is it that I will only update my Thanksgiving site from last year’s version once we hit within 21 days of the coming Thanksgiving. Why? Well, I just don’t want to offset anything in a negative way so I basically put the site asleep for 350 days a year and put up the closed sign (which, by the way, is the complete opposite of what I usually preach regarding always uploading fresh content).

Any way, being first not only for "Thanksgiving flowers" but also for "mothers day flowers" affords me emails that sometimes I find interesting. The latest email comes from the folks over at Their gig is to solicit top ranking sites to link to their site in such a fashion that it gives them the potential to out rank you.

What they do is they first give you praise about your site, and then they subtly give you a sales pitch in an effort to convince you that you need to link to them because they have a lot of information on Thanksgiving on an encyclopedic level. Here’s the email they sent me: [hyperlinks to their site have been removed; hyperlink to my site is retained J]

“While doing research on flowers for TheFlowerExpert.Com, we came across your site and found your page on “Thanksgiving flowers” is very interesting. The way you have designed and presented your site is very impressive and we loved your site. We have a page on The Flower Expert - Online Flowers Encyclopedia which gives the list of popular online florists by Country. We also request you to give a link to our page ( We feel that by linking to our site and using information from our site on your site will add more interesting features to your site and enhance your visitor's experience on flowers. You can use the following code for giving us a link:

href="">Thanksgiving Flowers

Details on use of flowers for Thanksgiving Day celebration for gifting. Looking forward to your response.”

As an SEO, I know that if I link to them in the fashion that they request (highlighted in red above), I would be giving them opportunity to out rank my site. To add insult to injury, their so-called Thanksgiving information page links out to their retail site While I am all for informational ecommerce websites, their tactical move to rank is what I would call "shady."

Any way, I’ll be posting more on Thanksgiving Flowers searches and on later on in more detailed posts. 


Anonymous said...

I find it odd how your rail against order gatherers but you are just an order gatherer yourself on

Mark McFall said...

Thanks for your comments. While it is true that I practice order gathering, I do it from behind my design table. The intent of this blog is NOT to rail against order gathers per say (others do that quite well. See:, but rather to help other florists that are also behind design tables compete on the same level as multimillion dollar floral entities.

In other words, brick & mortar florists can play the SEO game too.

Anonymous said...

I just used and they are a terrible service. They state on their site that they have a satifaction guarantee that includes - On time delivery - No Hidden Costs - Refund or replace, if not satisfied.

They missed their delivery date and after sending them a email, they said sorry that there was a problem and the local florist wouldn't do anything about it. I have a guarantee for them: I won't use their service again and the preapproval they received from my credit card when I ordered the flowers has been cancelled.

Anonymous said...

this is the way order gatherer do things exactly from your web site
titleThanksgiving Flowers | Click or Call: 1-877-250-8390 | Thanksgiving Flower Arrangements/title
meta name="description" content="Thanksgiving flowers can be hand-delivered in less than 4-hours. Beautiful Thanksgiving flower arrangements and centerpieces are created by professional local floral designers. All flowers are fresh and hydrated in floral solution to increase longevity and beauty."/
meta name="keywords" content="Thanksgiving Flowers"

Mark McFall said...

And your point is?? The mission of my blog is as stated on the homepage: "My specialty in that regard is to help real brick & mortar florists not only out rank some of their local competition, but more importantly major Order Gathers." Are you really going to chastise me for outranking million dollar companies for the most primary keyphrase there is for Thanksgiving: "thanksgiving flowers" ...with a $10 website?? Not my fault can't outrank me ;-)