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 www.theflowerexpert.com. 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 (http://www.theflowerexpert.com/content/giftflowers/flowersandoccassions/thanksgiving-flowers). 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:
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 www.pickupflowers.com. 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 theflowerexpert.com later on in more detailed posts.