Google blacklists BMW and Ricoh

By Derek Sooman on February 6, 2006, 3:11 PM
Google has made the move of blacklisting the German Web site of BMW. According to a blog posted by Google employee Matt Cutts, the move is in response to BMW allegedly trying to boost the likelihood it would be found in certain Internet searches. The Ricoh Web site has apparently suffered the same fate for similar reasons.

In the blog, Cutts alleged that BMW had violated a rule that is part of Google's webmaster quality guidelines, namely, "Donít deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users.Ē Cutts added that although BMW had apparently removed some of the offending pages, he expected Google would require BMW submit a "reinclusion request,Ē and that BMW would have to identify the person, or persons, responsible for creating the offending pages.

"Weíll probably also need some assurances that such pages wonít reappear on the sites before the domains can be reincluded," Cutts commented.

User Comments: 7

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buttus said:
Personally, I love Google. Here is a company which has actually maintained a strong morale code of ethics in business practices.They get slammed at every opportunity on many fronts. I suppose that is the price you pay when you get that big. However, I applaud their efforts. Google has turned down more money from more companies for preferential listings then money they have actually collected.Morale stances on content, misrepresentation of businesses or even political missue have all been stongholds of the philosophy behind the company.In this era of corporate controversy and endless corruption, it is refreshing to see real and solid morality in action.
nathanskywalker said:
Good for you google! The dude was dishonest, cheated, and purposely disobeyed the rules, his site should get blacklisted. That is unfair play between competitors, and compeletly dishonest to the buyers, for someone to create a redirect in that manner.
AeonXX said:
Google seems to be a walker of the road less traveled, for sure. Itís kind of a marketing strategy in itself, by making all of these bold moves they only get more and more ink for it. I like Google, and I much prefer it to Yahoo!, but Iím a skeptical person when it comes to large corporations, so I still havenít made up my mind about them. I do applaud the morality behind blacklisting BMW, Ricoh, and similar cheaters though. They deserve to lose traffic from the #1 search engine in the world for trying to get the leg-up on competitors with dishonest practices. Go Google!
need_a_dell said:
It's sad to see companies such as BMW stoop so low. The fact that BMW would change things on their webstie so that they would be nearer the top on google searches makes me pity them. Personally, I hardly ever even click on the first reulst, so this shouldn't even matter to BMW. Reading this actually may have lowered their standards in my eyes. Tis a shame...
Race said:
As I suspected after reading this.......using what's referred to as 'doorway' pages is a technique employed by casinos and porn sites.In BMW's case, the most likely scenario was that they were attempting to get their 'used car' listings, among others, to the top of the search results page without compensating Google.However, since the pages were removed almost immediately, I was willing to think that maybe this was a mistake, an oversite, a mis-communication between webmasters and management, or something of this nature.......until I found out that some of these doorways were 'live' for almost two years. There's no getting around that.The quote below suggests another possibility:[quote] The irony here is that is a highly inaccessible site right from the front-page: a java script -only navigation prevents access by certain browsers, browser settings or media (such as handheld browsers), and it also prevents search bots from effectively crawling the site. It might well be that BMWís doorway pages were a reaction to the otherwise inaccessible site structure; needless to say, the worst possible reaction.[/quote]If the scenario above is the case, then I love Mario Sixtus's quote:[quote]"likely to add another chapter to that best-selling book, íThe project managerís guide to covering up smaller errors with even bigger ones'".[/quote]Either way....BMW and Ricoh are now paying the price, and I couldn't agree with Google more on the action they took. The fact that it doesn't matter to Google how big or important the site is should also be applauded.[Edited by Race on 2006-02-07 02:29:19]
Vaulden said:
A great move by Google, it really shows that fair play might actually mean something to them. I dunno, maybe they are just using this to get more publicity. For now I think I'll just believe they are a decent company even a time where those are few and far between.
barfarf said:
Wow! I didn't know Google has such morals especially for a large corporation. First denying the government access to it data and now this. Go Google! There is definitely a road less travelled.
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