Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Baaad BMW. In your room.

[Tags: , , ]. New Media Age reports (subscription required) on some naughtiness by BMW's web designers which has resulted in the site being 'sinbinned'. Here's the piece in full:
"Google has punished German car manufacturer BMW for using search engine optimisation techniques that break its guidelines. The software firm has issued what’s known as the Google Death Penalty, severely reducing BMW’s Internet profile.

According to reports, BMW created a doorway page that repeated the German term for used cars 42 times in an attempt to increase its ranking. In addition, a user’s browser immediately triggered a JavaScript redirect to a completely different URL to the one seen by Google’s spider.

This ‘cloaking’ technique breaks one of Google’s cardinal rules for Webmasters, which is that search engines shouldn’t be presented with different content to users. As a result Google last week reduced BMW.de’s PageRank to zero, knocking it off the vital first page for search results.

According to Matt Cutts a blogger who claims to be a Google employee, German camera manufacturer Ricoh could soon be penalised for employing similar techniques.

The story highlights the risk for companies using SEO techniques, as BMW’s technique was not uncommon. It’s not clear whether the car-maker knew it was doing anything wrong"

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