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German BMW Banned From Google  (View post)

Artem [PersonRank 4]

Saturday, February 4, 2006
11 years ago

I wonder how it will translate into money losses. Will BMW ever notice it in its balance? Or is it about "web-pride" only?

Merta [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

And did they do it themselves or did they hire an agency, and if the latter, can they sue that agency?

Zoolander [PersonRank 4]

11 years ago #

imho, it is a handjob rather any google algo wizardry.

Caleb E [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Compare this:
google.com/search?q=bmw.de
(a banned domain)
with this:
google.com/search?q=asdfasdfas ...
(a nonexistant domain)

Roos [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Since spamreports don't work I will list spammers here if you don' mind. It seems to have more effect.

<www.wadden-vakantiehuis.nl>
<www.westcordhotels.nl/hotels/appartement-terschelling.php>

Javascript & doorwaypages so simple to recognize, not by Google ...

Seth Finkelstein [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Caleb: Actually, that domain (asdfasdfasdfasdfasdf.com) exists! And it's even existed for some time.

Jack [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

If goggle bans websites, and the only way we know they ban the website is to read blogs like this, then how do we know they are no punishing sites that might intrest us? Google needs to use some of that $4 billion in cash to figure out a better way to punish bmw.de, and not force me to use other search eninges to find the information I need, or think I need.

poop [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

don't include extra text in your site, that's evil
be supportive of questionable regimes, that's cool
what losers. they really have lost it.

a [PersonRank 2]

11 years ago #

I used to do web metrics for a big company years ago. Even then Google was the single largest source of visitors (and buyers for our online store). People don't really buy cars online, but they probably research what they are going to buy there. So this is a big deal...

Personman [PersonRank 8]

11 years ago #

Yes, this probably will hurt them quite a bit. Which is awesome. Many things Google ahs done recently have left me less than entirely pleased, but this is a step in the right direction.

jju [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

lol, the results from validator.w3.org/check?uri=htt ... are a joke. How can a big corporation create sites like that? – I'm baffled.

Anant [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

This is really interesting, whats cool is I'm taking a blogging class at the Business School and we were just talking about ways to increase your rankings in google search. Now we know one of the things NOT to do.

Link to my blog –
anant.typepad.com/anants_weblo ...

Search Engines Web.com [PersonRank 3]

11 years ago #

Banning any Good, Valid Website – Harms the surfers who are spending time looking for that specific information – and are unable to find it.

The more practical approach would be for Google to tweak their Algos so that strategies they object to – are not capable of helping in the SERPs.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Search Engines Web, BMW's SEO company apparently tried to cheat the Google results, thus pushing pages higher which otherwise wouldn't be there. One specific search for example was for "BMW reviews" – if you search for this, you're not necessarily looking for the official BMW page (quite the opposite).

Also, most of the doorway pages led to pages which specifically did *not* include the keywords the searcher entered. This is bad usability for the searcher. As for those pages which might have been good on BMW.de, well, BMW.de will surely one day be re-included if they learned the lesson and change their practices.

I agree with you that changing the algo's is more worthwhile. I wonder if Google could analyze these practices? It would mean they'd have their own JavaScript (maybe even CSS) interpreter checking for redirects and such. But this might be incredibly hard – imagine, spammers could just open a giant layer with CSS and create the redirect when the user hovers over this layer, i.e. immediately. How can Google tell this kind of redirect from a meaningful redirect, e.g. of an interactive website, without "human" judgment?

Now all in all, banning doorway pages and such teaches everyone a lesson and improves results overall. Google cares for more than just BMW.de... they must cater for all searchers on all of the web. If they let spammers have their way, results will become less and less relevant. In Germany the results are especially bad and full of spam, so I'm happy Google is cracking down on this.

Susanna Duffy [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

And about time! Why didn't they hire a web designer in the first place instead of an engineer? Too pfennig-pinching when it comes to the web.

get the facts straight [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

As above, google has more than google.com, and it seems that BMW.de isn't banned from any international google domains.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

BMW.de is banned on more than just Google.com: it's banned on Google.de, Google.it, etc. (I suppose it's banned on every Google).

Nick [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Is Google the new China? Who are they to decide who gets their results shown and who doesn't?

Zoolander [PersonRank 4]

11 years ago #

BMW.de is probably the most authorative site you ever gonna get for [BMW]on google.de. Banning it just makes no freaking sense. It is just preventing the user on the information.

Robert Taylor [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Google isn't acting as the "new China" or even as "Microsoft 2.0" (to corrupt a buzz word) when it guards the integrity of its PageRank feature that so many have come to rely on to get the web's consensus on the most relevant results for a query. By gaming Google sites are reducing the value of Google's results. That's my opinion.

Good For Google! [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

OK, some of you think google should not ban sites that stuff key words. What do you propose that google should do? Should they let the cheaters stay on top and push down the legitimate sites that should have the higher position? I DON'T THINK SO!

I say BMW.de played with fire and got the burning they deserve.

If they cheat on a web page, what else do they cheat on? A thief is a thief. If they steal google ratings, will they steal money from the pockets of their customers?

Jon [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

not sure if bmw.de will stay banned. Back when aplus.net used the same or similar technique to place their links on clients sites, they didn't get banned either.

Corsin Camichel [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Do not look at BMW as BMW. Say BMW is a company that redirects their links to eBay to gain money. That's what hundred other companies already have done.
The only difference this time is, that BMW is a global operating company with a good name.
And BMW wanted to profit from a free service (Google Search) and they have to play after their rules. They didn't, so this are the consequences!

Chris [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

It's a good move to remove BMW from the index. But now they should start to enhance their spam detection algorithms.

Greets,

Chris from digitalvoodoo.de/blog/

NetPioneer [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Google banned BMW just because the trick was talked everywhere. It seems BMW received the benefits of top position for 2 long years. How many traffic they got breaking the rules? IMO Google algorithms need work.

tehme [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

I don't know if this is related and all, but it's very suspicious: tinyurl.com/7b9a2

Things like that come up when you google for random peoples' names. The domain is called "spammailer", only accessible in the cache, and it's filled with BMW-related things.

Ed Kohler [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

What an idiotic move. I can't believe the managed to blow away the value of such an important online property. Was it greed, bad advice, or some combination of the two?

Charles [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

I suspect that BMW has been the victim of bad SEO advice from some agency, who'll no doubt get their butt kicked, but unfortunately for BMW ignorance is no defence.

BMW can probably get back in the index by admiting their mistake and making all necessary changes to fix it. There's been precedent for this kind of thing recently (just can't find the link).

Someone made the comment about how inaccessible the main BMW site is, and this is a large part of the reason they had to resort to dirty tactics...without them the regular site is almost invisible to indexing bots. Again BMW no doubt hired some agency adept at creating cool looking sites out of javascript and/or flash, but without understanding that this would lead to a poor showing in the search engines...when will people learn?

Dalmet [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

As a native German speaker I'd like to point out that the screenshot doesn't show a "sorry message" as your article claims. It merely is a warning that Javascript is deactivated followed by instructions on how to activate in different browsers.

By the way, no German would ever search for "BMW Germany" because Germans don't call Germany Germany in German. ;) They'd rather search for "BMW Deutschland". This search produces a result where the first non-sponsored link points to bmwfs.de/bmwfs/servlet/content ... (BMW Financial Services) which redirects to www.bmw.de.

Corsin Camichel [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

[put at-character here]Dalmet
Philipp is German too.
The whole thing is not directly about the main site from bmw.de, but a sub page for "Gebrauchtwagen" (used car). This page is now a 404 (bmw.de/gebrauchtwagen-bmw.html)

[put at-character here]Charles
Absolutely. But for now, it all BMW's fault. And as long as there is no official statement, everything are speculations.

babasave [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

ok to cloak is to blame and i do hate if i have to browse through a bunch of sites that only try to trap me ... but i think this is kind of censorship, taking good info to a given request from the web. john doe won´t know what made g**le taking the website down. and isn't that whole thing g**gl's "problem". they just can`t index and rank content that is different to txt. so highquality video, music, pictures aren't taken into accout to rank pages .... we should all take a look on both sides... ~baba

Hbot [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Glad this is settled, now they can get back to helping the Chinese government censor more information.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Yep, what Corsin said. BMW's doorway pages optimized for dozens (hundreds?) of terms, "used car" (my translation) being one of them. And naturally, a German user might well search for [bmw deutschland], [bwm testbericht], [bmw gebrauchtwagen] etc. etc., and many of those searches pointed to BMW.de a week ago.

Rituel [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

72.14.207.104/search?q=cache:S ...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Rituel, looks like BMW.fr is using a frameset for their homepage...

Tom Kitta [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Interesting to note you can still find out who links to it with "link: BMW.de"

I think Google should avoid de-listing sites etc. b/c their algorithms cannot detect certain web/span issues. After all, they are decreasing the total pool of information available out there. Also, who is going to be de-listed – only people that Google doesn't link? I am starting to think that Google is becoming M$ 2.0 – maybe the idea (grown in Europe) of public web search is quite good – after all can we trust a corporation?

Greetings from Canada www.tomkitta.com

D O [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Great work by Google! I agree with all those that say BMW.de deserved it. They tried to cheat, got caught and is now paying the price. Don't want to be de-listed, then don't cheat. Can it be any simpler?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Tom Kitta, I get no results for [link:bmw.de] on Google.com here.

Zak [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

I think it's quite correct. I have posted just a small write-up on why it matters to me personally here: carfolio.com/

I also agree that if Google can improve their webspam filters it would make the searching experience a more pleasant and fruitful one.

Martin [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

IMHO, google failed to effectivly ban spam by technical means for now. They should continue their research into the matter, but in the meantime, they should consider a solution that is probably outside the Google mindset:

Use a much bigger team to manually tag the spam. They receive enough complains to act upon. And still it takes ages to get a spamer removed. If it happens at all.

I have the feeling that Google only looks for solutions that are of awsome technical nature. And while the are looking for the perfect algorithm, their spam-fighting results are worse than they need to be. They should think out of their box. Also, as long as people come back to Google, the pressure is not high enough to (temporaryly) use human labor for the task.

I exclusivly use Google because over all, it is the best, but it could easily be much better.

ced [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

While I agree with the ban, I'm really wondering if it's not too much power for any company to have.
They can basically decide who get shown or not, they write their own rules and noone has any control over it. They could as well have corrupt executive asking for money in exchange of higher ranks or just take advantage from the administrative machine.
"we'll putting your pagerank back to its level but it takes long, you know paperwork, it'll be up in 3 months, but if you wire $500k today, I can speed up the process, everybody wins".

Jimz [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

I would love to see how G$$gle can get away from doing Cloaking on their own stuff and were caught red-handed and surely didn't ban themselves ;). Come on people you all can surely see through this, it's a one-way street, not all quality traffic only comes from G$$gle, I get over 14,000 quality uniques a month on one domain of mine from M$N. Over 8,000 quality uniques from Yah$$... So the bottom line is this, I have proof and I have the backing of it all. You can surely see that G$$gle isn't the only major player out there.

Anyhow try seeing who's the major Search "Directory" out there by typing in "search engine" inside G$$gles search and see what you come up with!

I love to empower Cloaking with SEO, makes me a 6 digit figure every year and then some. So let's figure this out, are they the only Search Engine? Hell no ;)

Just the opinion from a "Grey Hat" point of view.

All the Best,

Jimz

Ratz Tretznor [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

"BMW.de as seen from Google: PageRank zero and a “sorry” page."

Sorry: How do you infer this is a "sorry" page? This is no "sorry" page. It simply asks people to turn on their javascript. BMW would never apologize to anybody.

Corsin Camichel [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

The biggest German magazine (Spiegel) has reports on its website (German only, sorry :o)):
spiegel.de/netzwelt/politik/0, ...
spiegel.de/wirtschaft/0,1518,3 ...

Adam [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

I just want to remind everyone that Google is a company, not a government agency. As such, their goal is to make money. They make money by selling ads, which in turn relies on the number of people using their search engine. If their results are manipulated by cheaters it affects the integrity of their index. Over time, this could result in people trusting the results less and possibly using a different search engine. They have to protect themselves at all costs to maintain the trust of their users.

ben [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Hello All

I think that Google maked the right thing. I make a real legal effort according Google guide lines to be listed in good page rank while other sites cheat.

There are many other sites that cheat I hope Google people will find them

Ben

adultclickfinder.com

Elmo [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Me, I can guess five or ten reasons why I've been delisted from Gaggle (me with a spoon). From suspicious/paranoid, to amateurish, or seriously broken metric combined with a broken company (you simply can't continue to make incomprehensible mistakes forever, and survive).

It's a weird strange world to be in, invisible on the web. And not know why. I say let it happen to you if you want to really understand Google. Really know Google.

Google is evil.

anechoicroom.blogspot.com/

Paranoid [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

I doubt that anybody who wants to find bmw.de needs Google can actually afford a new BMW.

Corsin Camichel [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Here we go (again)
BMW has respond to Google via AWP International (Press)
I currently have no english text of it, but in short:
BMW sees no violation, they are talking with google about a re-inclusion. The spokesman says, they were surprise about Googles reaction.
Their doorway was "a service for the customer".
And (here it comes) only 4400 users out of 1.1 millions (or 0.4%) are coming from Google Search.

"we see that actually relatively left", said the BMW speaker.

Google John "The Baptist" [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

The "Gods of Google" are fickle and demand sacrifice!

Woe to the those who pray to false doorway page idols on the net. Woe to those who pray to spam, and to letters from Nigerian financial officers.

These are false idols and for your blaspheming you will be smote down by the all powerful Gods of Google!

Tremble BMW, tremble and be afraid, for thou hast sinned, thou hast played unfairly in the Internets great kingdom and thou wilst be punished.

Oh, most powerful Google we beseech you. Let us be wise in our web application, and be true to web page submissions, gateways,and meta tags.
  
Deliver us from Evil (BMW)

Amen.

Google John "The Baptist" [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

The "Gods of Google" are fickle and demand sacrifice!

Woe to the those who pray to false doorway page idols on the net. Woe to those who pray to spam, and to letters from Nigerian financial officers.

These are false idols and for your blaspheming you will be smote down by the all powerful Gods of Google!

Tremble BMW, tremble and be afraid, for thou hast sinned, thou hast played unfairly in the Internets great kingdom and thou wilst be punished.

Oh, most powerful Google we beseech you. Let us be wise in our web application, and be true to web page submissions, gateways,and meta tags.
  
Deliver us from Evil (BMW)

Amen.

Corsin Camichel [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

forbes.com/2006/02/06/bmw-goog ...

Quote:
A blogger who purports to work for Google recently posted that BMW, led by Chairman Helmut Panke, had gone against the search engine's quality guidelines, which tell webmasters to "avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings."

Is that Philipp or Matt?

Vette [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Buy a corvette, no need of a BMW

Myname [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Nice one!!!! I love it!!! Amen to you on the buy a vette!!!! Where if I was BMW I would be doing all repos on all Google Employees that have a BMW in their name ;)

JHArrison [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

I just went to google and typed BMW and everything and it's mother BMW showed up

J.Heikkonen [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

I think this is quite childish by Google to do this to a respectable German company. They should have come to an understanding between the two companies, instead of doing the black-list thing.

I wonder if a Chinese company does this, would Google look the other way, since they are catering to that governments restricted web policies.

zozo [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

> Is that Philipp or Matt?

ME TOO! same question. Philipp, whan you'll be officially hired by Google (if you're not already), could you put a sticker on the FRST PAGE of your site saying

THIS SITE IS 100% HIRED BY GOOGLE

spike [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

I respect google for taking the stand against BMW and holding everyone equally to the rules – which are clearly stated. Why shoudl BMW be any different than a spammer? Becuase their a gllobal company? Becuase they have money? I don't think this is right. Just becuase it's BMW doesn't mean it's above the rules.

Mathilde [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

It seems that Renault.fr (the car french maker) has been removed from the google base at the beginning of december 05 ?
Do you have some news about that ?
Is it the same policy from Google compares to BMW.de ?

callum [PersonRank 2]

11 years ago #

Looks like they made the necessary changes and were re-admitted...

mattcutts.com/blog/recent-rein ...

Steve Johnston [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Hey Philipp, This morning, the day after the reinclusion, the Google Cache still holds all the doorway page content (switch JavaScript off before you try and look). And presumably, because no reindexing has taken place yet, they are still benefiting from the ranking boost they provided. I think Google let them back in far too quickly!

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Steve, but the pages as far as I can see return a "file not found" header, so they might be automatically removed from the Google index soon...

Nikita [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

I don't understand, i searched for BMW Germany and BMW.de on google today and bmw.de was on top in both cases.Is this mistake or google returned all back?

Worldbusinessforsale.com [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

I can see same as Nikita!

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Yes, Google reincluded BMW on around January 8:
blogoscoped.com/archive/2006-0 ...

cordial camaraderie [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Why did Google returned them all ??
...

Victor [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

Why is all the hoopla around bmw.de, USA based big companies do this too, just look at result for the Citibank (student l o a n . com (using frames, but one of the frames is being stuffed with keywords for the SE and doesn't appear, and another frame appears for the regular web user) So many sites should be penalized ... my report to Google about Citibank didn't yield any result.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

Victor, which page do you mean? URL please?
The <noframes> element is actually used for normal visitors as well, so it's no doorway...

Michael Hosting [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

Now it appears ok (PR 8). I.e. it is not a real ban but just a cyclical process that punishes problematic sites.

[signature removed]

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