| 5:12 pm on Feb 5, 2006 (gmt 0)|
Something interesting about this also;
If you search:
It not only doesnt display any results, it does not have the:
'If the URL is valid, try visiting that web page by clicking on the following link LINK HERE'
It only offers 'from the site' which has no results and 'contain the term'. However, searching for an imaginary site (ie superwidget.de) DOES show the normal link through to the site ie:
'If the URL is valid, try visiting that web page by clicking on the following link : superwidget.de'
Is this a result of the penalty also? I have never seen google avoid displaying that link before. Google is refusing to even suggest going to that URL!
| 5:44 pm on Feb 5, 2006 (gmt 0)|
Same thing with bmw.co.uk
BUT it's okay with bmw.com
| 5:47 pm on Feb 5, 2006 (gmt 0)|
Well deserved slap in the face.
If the little guys can't do it, neither should the big boys.
Someone at BMW is going to get a hiding...
| 7:07 pm on Feb 5, 2006 (gmt 0)|
I think this is a good example of degrading google SERPs.
a search for bmw in google Deutsch returns a blank page as top result. IMHO google is overdoing its algo at the cost of returning results that people are looking for.
If a German searches for bmw, he is probably looking for the official BMW site and he couldn't care less about black hat SEO.
| 8:04 pm on Feb 5, 2006 (gmt 0)|
Wow, the problem with this approach is that whether or not Google will even lend a hand to the smaller websites it bans or penalizes. So if you're going to pursue methodologies like this, let the companies know what was done. Some sites are often handled by numerous employees or third party designers who may think this or something else is the smart approach.
So the fact of the matter here, is while G may be telling the world be careful, we make no distinction between larger companies and the smaller companies, if they're only going to tell BMW to fix an issue, why wouldn't they tell the small guys?
| 9:04 pm on Feb 5, 2006 (gmt 0)|
Looking at things with tunnel vision leads to seeing something good as something "degrading". Big deal if it doesn't appear first for bmw. That is ONE SEARCH TERM. Someday an engine might easily make sites like this appear for ONE term like bmw while justifiably and correctly penalizing them for all other terms (and of course they could deliberately do that here for one term) but you have to look at the bigger picture.
It's much better for them to not rank for bmw and all other terms, than for them to rank correctly for bmw and incorrectly for all other terms.
| 9:26 pm on Feb 5, 2006 (gmt 0)|
I was not referring to this one term when I typed degrading. IMO Google results have degraded recently across the board. This just happens to be a good example. As you might know google's algos apply to all the results and you could be pretty sure this is not an one term issue.
Currently there are filers affecting the results and penalising many aspect of optimization such as backlinks, anchor texts and even optimized title tags.
What baffles me is that if google can detect these black hat stuff why not just ignore them rather than filter them at all costs. If average Joe is looking for widgets he doesn't care if there is hidden text on the site that has the info he is looking for. After all he does not see them.
| 9:51 pm on Feb 5, 2006 (gmt 0)|
Presumably they must have sent BMW some private
correspondence and then `outed' them as they failed
| 9:56 pm on Feb 5, 2006 (gmt 0)|
I always have to wonder what the heck people are talking about when they say "ignore". You want Google to ignore all garbage text on that page, so they don't rank for anything not in link text?
There is no competition in this world where cheating is "ignored". You get fifteen yard penalties, ejected from games, fined, barred for life, etc etc. "Oh, we discovered you are trying to fool so we are just going to ignore that." C'mon. If they caught everything 100% of the time, that would be one thing, but it is ludicrous to not penalize deliberate cheats when they are caught.
| 10:39 pm on Feb 5, 2006 (gmt 0)|
I agree that what BMW had done is certainly unfitting. The point I'm trying to make is that The ultimate SE would deliver the results regardless of SEO. I would not think any less of google if it returned the redirected page as the first result when I'm searching for BMW. The role of a search engine is to help me find what I'm looking for and not to play the governor of the net.
| 11:39 pm on Feb 5, 2006 (gmt 0)|
a1call: If they don't penalise BMW in some way for blackhat SEO, then in future other smaller sites using cloaking will be able to point out that Google didn't penalise BMW, so why is the small site being penalised?
Google is doing great by sticking to their rules no matter who's doing the bad SEO. It may inconvenience searchers who are looking for BMW, but if more and more bad SEO is allowed, eventually the search results would inconvenience searchers even more.
| 11:40 pm on Feb 5, 2006 (gmt 0)|
There are a couple of points Google is making here -- and making them, I think, VERY effectively. By killing a bear and nailing its hide to the doorway, they are NOT announcing that every other kind of vermin they find will be carefully skinned and mounted. They are announcing that ALL vermin will be KILLED -- rats and mice as well as other bears should stay away.
There is no such benefit to posting rat tails or mouse skulls -- and so smaller vermin may be crushed without notice. But ... NOT WITHOUT WARNING! No, not without warning. If BMW with all its notorieity and political clout, can't bluster ITS way past the Google algorithmics -- what hope for lesser offenders? And anyone who misses THAT message has no business calling himself a professional webmaster, let alone a competent one.
But why shouldn't Google just de-louse the bear, or do whatever else it takes to make it socially presentable, instead of taking such extreme steps?
Well, the answer here is simple, also. Google knows -- Google HAS to know -- ANYBODY who's ever seriously looked at search engine HAS to know -- that very few sites abuse the guidelines in only one way. The rat carries a wide variety of diseases. Anyone is wise to suspect that a violator of one guideline is likely to violate many others -- in fact, that most violators will be constantly adding variations of abuses hoping that Google won't be able to detect them.
The obvious response, the only sensible response, is to pound any site using any of the detectable abuses -- without warning, without notice. Give no clue to the abusers as to what's detectable, and what's not. Raise the risk of abusing in ANY form, hopefully to an unacceptable level.
Harsh? Not to the honest webmasters. Not to the surfers who are hoping that reputable companies can rank well for their own trademarks in the absense of artificial rank manipulation. Only to the people who called themselves professional manipulators of Google, but who didn't bother to observe how Google wished to be manipulated.
| 12:45 am on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)|
I removed Google from my search engine, I hope this helps.
| 2:33 am on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)|
All this tells us is that the Google algo is not picking up such pages. One of the members here runs a forum in German and English where the German side was discussing the BMW doorway page problem last November with an observation that the pages are two years old... It's taken all this time for someone to report it.
| 3:45 am on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)|
|Google is doing great by sticking to their rules no matter who's doing the bad SEO. It may inconvenience searchers who are looking for BMW |
It isn't even doing that, since Germany searcher who's capable of looking for "BMW" in a search engine should be capable of typing "bmw.de" in a browser.
By selecting a high-profile target, Google can make its point without inconveniencing any searcher who has an IQ over 80.
| 9:33 am on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)|
|There is no competition in this world where cheating is "ignored". You get fifteen yard penalties, ejected from games, fined, barred for life, etc etc. "Oh, we discovered you are trying to fool so we are just going to ignore that." C'mon. If they caught everything 100% of the time, that would be one thing, but it is ludicrous to not penalize deliberate cheats when they are caught. |
"Ignoring" might be read as "not counting the extra benefit that comes from cheating".
But if you look at sports, and e.g. a bicycle racer that "normally" would rank #5 in a big race is caught doping. "Ignoring" would mean awarding him 5th rank instead of kicking him where it hurts.
There have to be read lines and if you cross them there must be a penalty. (IMHO)
| 10:23 am on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)|
Think about this szenario: Assume that you are dealing with a large site which can't be indexed, because it was not built with seo in mind. A big used car portal is a fitting example.
The site offers lots of content, which would rank well, if the site would be redesigned, so that all the entries in the database become available to the search engine.
If the company now uses cloaking to close this gap in such a way, that the result between a redesign and cloaking would be eventually the same, I wonder why the first option is ok and the later is
I can only see benefits for both sides. Search engine results appear, which otherwise would have not shown up. Users find information, which they could not find before, because it did not exist in
the search result. The company saves money by not having to redbuild their entire website. Sometimes, especially in big companies that's not even an option, because systems grow over time.
Assuming that the content between the two is identical, then by googles SEO quality guidelines this would not even be considered cloaking, because the user and the search engine see or get the same results. The irony of this is that this is only true, if the website would be redesigned to what the cloaked pages look like.
So I guess the questions boils down to if you would really present the cloaked pages to the users? I think sometimes that's the case. And I think that cloaking sometimes is a win win situation. Go
ogle does not make this subtile distiction so, because it`s difficult to say when the milk turns sour.
Nevertheless punishing pages, which actually do not spam does not improve the search result. Spam is stuff that you are not interested in. But if you type in "used bmw m3" and you find a used car
portal having those kind of offers (using cloaking or not) what's wrong with that?
What do you think?
| 10:35 am on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)|
I understand what people who say that the removal will inconvenience people who are looking for the bmw site. However if Google had not removed it it would have degraded the results for people searching for "used car" (in German) and whatever other key phrases BMW were spamming with.
Furthermore the actual results are still not too bad - plenty of relevant sites. I would not assume that people who search for "BMW" are looking for the official site - they may be looking for dealers, information on the company, independent info on the cars etc - all those people also still have good search results.
| 10:38 am on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)|
|Search engine results appear, which otherwise would have not shown up. Users find information, which they could not find before, because it did not exist in the search result. |
A common misconception. When spamming sites are removed from the index, the actual number of results per SERP does not decrease, but remains the same. The gaps are filled by those sites whose user-visible content DOES match the search query. When spamming sites are removed from the index, they get replaced by sites the searcher was looking for. So AFTER the removal users find information which they could not find before.
If I am looking for a used car (one of the German keywords that bmw.de was cloaking for), I want to find portals or websites where used cars are sold. I do not want to go to a site of a company which only manufacturers new cars, it has no added value for the searcher. According to one of the sources on the net which revealed the BMW cloaking, on one of the user visible pages the German equivalent word of "used car" was mentioned only twice, where the cloaked version mentioned it 42 times.
| 10:48 am on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)|
|The ultimate SE would deliver the results regardless of SEO. The role of a search engine is to help me find what I'm looking for and not to play the governor of the net. |
| 11:38 am on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)|
lammert, what I have said does not apply to bmw so. But it indeed would apply to a portal, which sells used cars and would be on the subject.
And if this portal I'm speaking of would not show up at all in the search result, then search engine users would not be able to find it.
And the search result as a whole would not be as good as with those search results included. Of course without it you also find other results. That's for sure.
You are really talking about where it should appear in the result. But I guess that's very difficult, because you would have to look a concrete result set. But generally speaking, I guess it should appear at the top, if the site is about used cars.
Unfortuanltey search engines are not that fine grained yet to really make this important distinction.
Anyway, there would be no reason why this site should not show up, just because of cloaking. Unless - of course - the results would be off topic and not appropriate.
| 12:32 pm on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)|
good move by google, thumbs up! bad and off topic cloaking that was! it is also a good warning sign for the other cloakers in the blue chip companies.
there are a few left to go, hope google will put them down, too. (since I put my black hat away I am kind of a militant white hat :-)
my 2 pennies,
| 4:02 pm on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)|
Good to see Google punishing dishonest SEO. Hopefully, it'll serve as an example.
| 4:37 pm on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)|
Imagine how much Google Juice BMW are going to get from all the backlinks they're getting from the big news sites covering this story!
As soon as they get reincluded, I think they'll be able to look at their rankings and give themselves a good pat on the back!
| 7:44 am on Feb 7, 2006 (gmt 0)|
|Imagine how much Google Juice BMW |
As far as I remember, it was a PR7 site.
| 9:26 am on Feb 7, 2006 (gmt 0)|
Case in point:
Traffic to BMW.de has gone through the roof:
| 10:05 am on Feb 7, 2006 (gmt 0)|
|Traffic to BMW.de has gone through the roof: |
Always happens to slashdotted sites. A bazillion geeks rubbernecking the trainwreck :)
Anyone else noticed they also seem to have been removed from the Google licensed copy of the DMOZ database?
| 10:53 am on Feb 7, 2006 (gmt 0)|
Is there an official response from BMW out yet?
| 11:56 am on Feb 7, 2006 (gmt 0)|
pontifex..."good move by google, thumbs up! "
(just a fiction scenario not apply to BMW because is not depent on Google )What could you say if you Gastarbeiter father have lost his job in Bayerisches Motor Werke BMW if BMW was depending on Google traffic and due to deindexing the company looses billions of EURO so unfortunatelly the first move is reduce the production and second move is to make a few more thousands unemployed.
That is a fiction scenario ,BUT it give to some people here that are not so much Google fanatics a future view of what kind of evel is behind that company that wants to control the whole worlds data ,ecomerce ,and more.................
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