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Wednesday, February 1, 2006

BMW’s Doorway Pages

The German websites of car maker BMW make use of doorway pages. It’s hard to tell whether or not they intentionally used this blackhat SEO technique, but someone at BMW needs to spend 2-3 hours reading up on how Google and the web works (or fire the company responsible for these doorways).

Let’s check this page: Enter it with a JavaScript-enabled browser and you’ll see:

Nice and clean, though somewhat lacking content. But disable JavaScript, and this is what you get:

Ah, there’s the content. “Gebrauchtwagen” means “used car” in German. How often does this word appear in the doorway page? 42 times, give one or two (the “real” page only includes this word twice). The whole copy doesn’t make much sense due to that either, as it’s a concatenation of monotonously repeated “used car” sentences.

This doorway page is by far not the only one. is another example, and there are many more.

Do the doorway pages serve their purpose at this moment? Yes, absolutely – the used car page is a PageRank 5, and entering [gebrauchtwagen bmw] into Google yields it as top result. After Matt Cutts hears about this, or enough people file a spam report, let’s see how long any of BMW’s pages yield top results.

On a related note,’s homepage is not accessible at all without JavaScript. That’s a nifty way to give the Googlebot a hard time. This is almost, almost cute.

[Thanks Siggi Becker.]

Update: BMW has been removed from Google.


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