Google Bans BMW … and Ricoh
High Google rankings can bring lots of business to a web site. As a result, it’s tempting to try to fiddle with the system. Some forms of search engine optimization are acceptable, but others aren’t. One “black hat” technique, the use of a so-called doorway page, has apparently thrown BMW’s German language web site out of Google’s results altogether. <See coverage in Forbes>
Google’s page rank method can be as lucrative as it is powerful, and it is tempting to try to fiddle with the system. Some forms search engine optimization are acceptable; others aren’t. One such approach–the use of a so-called doorway page–has apparently thrown BMW into reverse.
According to media reports, the word gebrauchtwagen or “used cars,” appeared 42 times on the doorway page of the carmaker’s German site. Doorway pages, for the uninitiated, are Web pages with little or no content that exist almost solely to redirect Web surfers elsewhere. Google’s search technology doesn’t like the pages and apparently slammed the door on BMW, dropping its page rank to 0.
Matt Cutts, the Google engineer famous for his blog discusses this incident along with the removal of a Ricoh web site for similar transgressions.