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Old 02-06-2006, 11:15 AM   #1
NYCshopper
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Default Google's 'death penalty' for BMW (German Website)

Google's 'death penalty' for BMW (German Website)

http://driving.timesonline.co.uk/art...027523,00.html

Quote:
Google confirmed today that it has applied its own version of a "death penalty" to BMW's German website, after the carmaker apparently attempted to boost its popularity ranking artificially on the internet search engine.

A Google spokesman told Times Online: "We cannot tolerate websites trying to manipulate search results as we aim to provide users with relevant and objective search results.

"Google may temporarily or permanently ban any site or site authors that engage in tactics designed to distort their rankings or mislead users in order to preserve the accuracy and quality of our search results."

Google has imposed similar sanctions against other companies in the past. Such actions, which severely lower the internet profile of a site, have become known as "Google death penalties". They see Google reset its search engine so that when a computer user searches for terms linked to a particular company, they do not return direct links to the company’s website.

Google has a policy of re-including sites once it is sure they are no longer violating its guidelines.

The latest move comes at a time when Google is under pressure to revive its reputation for impartiality.

It's recent acquisition of a 5 per cent stake in AOL, the internet portal company, for $1 billion was accompanied by reports that the Google search engine will grant AOL pages a "preferred" status. Analysts said that move risked undermining public trust in the Google brand.

The company has also faced fierce criticism in the West for entering the Chinese market, a move which saw Google accept Beijing's restrictions on free speech.

The BMW action was revealed when Matt Cutts, a blogger claiming to be a Google software engineer, wrote that the company appeared to have used underhand practices to ensure that searches for BMW and "gebrauchtwagen" — used cars — would return the carmaker’s website first.

The practice — known as search engine optimisation — is frequently used by webmasters. But engineers at Google are said to have taken exception to the methods apparently being used by BMW in Germany.

Mr Cutts wrote that the firm had written "gebrauchtwagen" 42 times on its "doorway" page — used to include terms likely to catch surfers seeking used cars. In response, Google has moved to reduce the website’s PageRank to zero, meaning that search results for BMW in Germany no longer yield it as the top selection.

Mr Cutts wrote that the practice was a violation of Google’s guidelines, although it is unclear whether BMW was aware that it was doing anything wrong.
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Old 02-06-2006, 11:27 AM   #2
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more info:

http://news.com.com/Google+blacklist...l?tag=nefd.top

Quote:
Google blacklists BMW.de

Google has blacklisted BMW.de after the carmaker violated the search giant's guidelines by using a technique that could artificially boost its search engine rating, according to a Google engineer.

In a blog, Google software engineer Matt Cutts said that Google had removed BMW's German site (click here to view site) from its Web index after the site included "doorway pages" that would automatically redirect visitors to a different URL.

Cutts explained that when Google's crawlers visited a BMW page, it saw blocks of text with repeated key search words such as "neuwagen," which means "new car" in German. However, when a user visited the listed page they would be automatically redirected to another page with less text and more pictures, which was more attractive than the page the crawler saw, but would have scored lower in Google's PageRank system.

"This is a violation of our Webmaster quality guidelines, specifically the principle of 'Don't deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users,'" said Cutts' blog.

To regain Google listing status, Cutts expects that BMW.de will have to remove the JavaScript that redirects users around the site in this fashion and then send a reinclusion request to Google's Webspam team, which Cutts leads. BMW.de has already removed some of the redirect pages.

BMW may also have to disclose details of who created the doorway pages--and assure Google "that such pages won't reappear on the sites"--before the domains can be reincluded, said Cutts.

The German site of technology product vendor Ricoh is also due to be removed from Google "for similar reasons," Cutts said.

BMW and Ricoh were unavailable for immediate comment.
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Old 02-06-2006, 11:33 AM   #3
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Good for Google.
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Old 02-06-2006, 11:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazdaz
Good for Google.
+1234
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Old 02-06-2006, 01:03 PM   #5
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Old 02-06-2006, 02:16 PM   #6
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Isnt this a form of censorship? BMW wasnt doing anything "illegal" nor was it doing anything that you and I couldnt do on our own websites...

Dont get me wrong, I like to stick it to the "man" whenever I can, but this instance for some reason doesnt sit well with me. Who's regulating google?
Granted, we dont have to USE google, but when you're the #1 search engine it's a given that you're going to have some influence over people and their searches......
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Old 02-06-2006, 02:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonebaru
Isnt this a form of censorship? ...Who's regulating google?
Nobody, Google is a private corporation in the USA. Just like you said, if you dont like their actions, discontinue use of their services. Simple.

IMHO, google has every right to do whatever they want.
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Old 02-06-2006, 03:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonebaru
...when you're the #1 search engine it's a given that you're going to have some influence over people and their searches......
Which is all the more reason that company shouldn't try to sneak/trick their way into the top of search results the way that BMW tried to do.
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Old 02-06-2006, 04:15 PM   #9
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it isn't censorship. it is simply enforcement of a reasonable policy that seeks to prevent exploitation of their search service. They are being very nice about resolving things once the offending pages are removed.
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Old 02-07-2006, 08:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cefoskey
Nobody, Google is a private corporation in the USA. Just like you said, if you dont like their actions, discontinue use of their services. Simple.

IMHO, google has every right to do whatever they want.
ah true, but CNN is also a private media company delivering information (that we can also decide to not watch and use MSNBC, etc)...and they are regulated from these types of actions by a higher governing body.

What i was trying to say is that Google is so large now that they have higher responsibilities.....you and i should not be penalized for BMW's actions (meaning now because Google wants to spank their heiney john will not turn up the correct results for the manufacturer info on the Z4 he's interested in due to the 0 rating...it makes both google AND BMW look bad)
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Old 02-07-2006, 08:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonebaru
you and i should not be penalized for BMW's actions
BMW should have thought of that before they tried messing with the system.
The whole reason that Google is so good, is that it tried to give you a fair and even search result - circumventing that with BMW's silly tricks ruins that equality. So screw them.


And BTW, I really don't know what you mean by "[CNN] are regulated from these types of actions by a higher governing body" far as I know, that isn't accurate - hell if there was such a regulating body, then channels like the blatantly biased FOX News wouldn't be able to exist.
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Old 02-07-2006, 10:38 AM   #12
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Other than some very broad restrictions (i.e. no porn, indecency, etc.) on content, CNN is free to broadcast whatever pinko-commie BS it chooses. CNN can also accept or refuse any advertising they choose. Google owns their web database and their search algorithm. They can blacklist anyone they choose, just like CNN can choose not to give live coverage to a speech by the president of Batswana.
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