Back in 2008 I had a watchful eye out for flowerpetal.com as they suddenly began to rank 3rd in Google for “flowers.” Back then, I noted that some of the tactics they were employing to rank were very risky. Sure enough, just a couple of weeks later they didn’t even rank in the top 1000 for the same key-phrase. At the time, they had a Google PageRank value of “5” and were drawing most of the energy to rank from the following websites which also had PageRank values of “5”:
[As I mentioned back then, if you clicked on the links above and scrolled to the bottom you saw a variation of this: "Need flowers for your night out? Click here to send flowers."]
Fast forward to 2009 and it appears that not only has Google devalued the PageRank values of flowerpetal’s network websites (from PageRank 5s to PageRanks 3s & 4s), but flowerpetal.com itself has been hit the hardest going from a PageRank 5 to a PageRank 2.
Yes, while this PageRank devalue is like a public spank equivalent to having to wear a dunce hat, flowerpetal.com continues to rank good for geographical florist searches even though primary ranking for popular general terms has been taken away from them.
But they’ve been publicly spanked nonetheless.