Last week SEO and WP veteran Joost de Valk outted GoDaddy (no link for you!) for tricking customers with a nasty little footer link scheme leveraging client web sites.
Sound familiar? It should – this is the same practice we caught Teleflora doing to their florists a few months back. When confronted with the practice TF slightly modified the behaviour to seemingly address florist concerns, though they did not remove the links to Teleflora.com
So why does this announcement from Joost matter to florists?
As more and more florists are fleeing Wire Service hosted web sites many have turned to the seemingly low-cost options provided by GoDaddy, including their Web Site Tonight product that Joost discusses. While these are already pretty low-grade sites, florists using GoDaddy should also be aware of this new twist that’s leveraging their hard work to promote another company.
To recap why this is a problem: Every link from any page on your site sends a certain amount of “link juice” (viewed as a vote or endorsement) to the page on the end of that link. The stronger the sending page, the more “juice” the receiving page gets. If a florist is working hard building links and credibility for their site a portion of that hard work is siphoned off by the hosting company. When that company is also a competitor, this situation is even worse (imagine you had another flower shop next door who was jacking your electricity for their cooler – not cool!).
Despite what certain “industry professionals” have said in response to our article in September, these types of links do work, and they do benefit the receiving site – as proven by Joost. So, if you have a team member who says that links only matter when the page strength score of the linking site is higher than the receiving site, you might need to send them back to SEO school 🙂