Search Matters™

Google Police Bust BMW.de

Short-term gains can bring long-term pain when you violate search engine optimization guidelines and standards of ethics and integrity. And no one is above reproach, as the recent well-publicized spamming case of BMW.de demonstrates. Google removed the automaker’s German website from its index after uncovering the site used doorway pages to fraudulently enhance search engine results.

It’s reported that the site employed doorway pages with irrelevant content to a web surfer’s actual search, creating high rankings for terms a new vehicle manufacturer wouldn’t typically be found for—for example, used cars. People searching for used cars in Germany would land on optimized, highly ranked doorway pages with content that would lead them to believe they found relevant, useful information. Clicking on these pages prompted their browsers to execute Javascript, which redirected them to BMW’s German home page.

Some Proteus SEO clients experience frustration with competitors employing questionable or deceptive optimization practices to get high search engine rankings and wonder “how can they get away with it?” “If it’s okay for them to do it, why can’t we?” We recommend perseverance and patience. First, we believe that with our knowledge and experience we can out-strategize even those attempting to cheat the system with legitimate optimization tactics, and enjoy long-term success. Second, it’s become evident that as the search engines employ more sophisticated tools, they are more readily able to identify websites violating the terms of their Webmaster guidelines. With the BMW case and impending action against other violators, Google is clearly demonstrating its determination to not only root out offenders, but also punish them with banishment. Violators not only risk the cost of lost exposure and market visibility, they saddle themselves with the cost of re-building a legitimately optimized website. Even after they’ve made such corrections, it may take months or years to regain the trust of search engines.   

We know that doorway pages aren’t the only tactic being employed to and circumvent the system and get high rankings. Google does too.

If BMW can get banned, no doubt anyone can. Pity the poor site manager who thought this was a good idea.

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