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Google v. BMW: Doorway Pages are evil


Google accused BMW of manipulating search results by using so called "doorway pages". Doorway pages can be used to trick search engines into sending users to Web sites that are not directly related to the search terms they are searching for. Google's quality guidelines forbid the use of doorway pages ("Don't deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users."). Although BMW said that the pages had been created to direct people who were interested in topics related to BMW -- such as used cars -- to the right pages, the doorway pages were removed. Shortly after the BMW website could be found again at Google.

The case once again rises the question if search engines are completely free in deciding which website they include in their index. A new article from me, that will presumably be published in the April issue of the MMR, will adress this topic in more detail. A short statement to the BMW / Google case has been published by Telepolis:

  • February 10, 2006: Ott, Stephan, Google räumt auf, Telepolis:
    "Warum der Kampf der Suchmaschine gegen Suchmaschinen-Spam leicht zum Bumerang werden könnte"

Also see:

  • February 8, 2006: steht wieder im Google-Index, Heise:
    "Der Suchmaschinenbetreiber Google hat die deutschen Webseiten des Autobauers BMW wieder in seinen Index aufgenommen."

  • February 8, 2006: Mills, Elinor, back in Google index, CNet:
    "The German language Web sites of carmaker BMW and technology product vendor Ricoh are back in the search results on Google's search site after they stopped using a technique designed to artificially boost their search engine rating, according to a Google engineer."

  • February 7, Google Imposes a Ban on BMW Web Site, NY Times:
    "Google has removed the German Web site of BMW from its Internet search index, saying that the company was redirecting users from requested information to another page selling luxury cars."

  • February 6, 2006: BMW sieht Google-Vorwürfe gelassen, Heise:
    "Der Autobauer BMW hat gelassen auf den Rauswurf seiner deutschen Webseite aus dem Suchindex der Internet-Suchmaschine Google reagiert."

  • February 5, 2006: Google sperrt nun auch deutsche Webseiten mit versteckten Suchwörtern aus, Heise:
    "Man kann es auch in den deutschen Richtlinien des Suchmaschinenbetreibers nachlesen, dass Webseiten mit versteckten Wörtern und anderen Tricks zur Erhöhung des Trefferrankings unerwünscht sind."




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