Google has flexed its muscles and dropped BMW Germany from its search engine following the German car manufacturer’s attempts to artificially boost its popularity ranking.

The delisting was reported by Matt Cutts, a software engineer at Google, who works to stop websites tricking the system by featuring hidden text or different content from what the website visitor sees.

In his blog, Cutts wrote that the methods used by BMW were a violation of the search engine’s guidelines, and that a second company, camera maker ricoh.de will be removed soon for similar reasons shortly.

“Don’t deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users.” Said Cutts on his blog entry.

No comment.



  1. SEO gets harder and harder. I spend several thousands a month on google adwords and I’d like to get more clicks from the left side, but with the many changes it is hard to optimize your site without stepping over the line. It is a full time job tweaking advertising to keep cost down and results high.

    Eric

  2. Phil Bridges says:

    Umm.. I must be thick.. if I type BMW into Google it takes me straight to their .com site… what am I missing here???

  3. Eideard says:

    Phil, this all concerns their site in Germany. bmw.de I imagine Google looks at your ip address and steers you to the nearest site — in English.

  4. Harold says:

    If Google has a monopoly on web searches, shouldn’t it be regulated by the government, same as other monopolies? As I type this, I’m having a Baby-Bell deja vu: “Southwestern Google” vs. “Google Atlantic”. Ha!

    P.S. The picture in this post is highly appropriate. Kudos.

  5. akern233 says:

    Well, you could probably say that BMW Germany deserved to be taken off. I think it was a backdoor thing to make their link higher in the search results. When I type “american cars” in google, I shouldn’t see “BMW Germany”.
    BTW- great job on TWiT 41 Dvorak.

  6. SignOfZeta says:

    Yes Steve, but what was the false information that was presented? Were they showing people stuff other than BMW automobiles or something? I don’t get it.

    Maybe if I read German…?

  7. Carmi says:

    I guess BMW is no longer the ultimate searching machine.

  8. david says:

    I am a fundamentalist. These are the first three fundamentals from which everything must be based in order for harmony to exist:

    1. Be Honest (The “I”).
    2. Be Forgiving (The “You”).
    3. Be Helpful and Accepting (The “We”).

  9. Guigo says:

    there’s thousands of sites outthere using hidden links etc. for “black hat seo”, but google just did it with bmw to keep its publicity 😀

  10. SignOfZeta says:

    “The websites at issues contained text that could not be seen by people reading the site.”

    Seriously, doesn’t virtually every single site do this? Aren’t they called meta tags?

  11. Pat says:

    It isn’t nice to fool Mother Google

  12. Strange they got relisted in a day or two. Wonder how much they paid google for that? They sure don’t relist ordinary small business sites. They give them a permanate ban or make them wait months or years if at all.


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