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Google bans BMW in web ‘fixing’ row

Google bans BMW in web ‘fixing’ row

Google has blocked BMW’s German website for trying to manipulate search results. The Internet giant took action after it found the German firm was using search terms such as ‘new cars’ and ‘used cars’ prominently on its home page to boost its ranking in search result lists. Such ‘doorway pages’ can trick search engines into pointing users to websites that are not specifically related to the term they are searching for. The tactic violates the search engine’s guidelines – but the German car maker denies it deliberately misled users. The ‘death sentence’ on BMW’s site was unwittingly revealed by Google software engineers Matt Cutts in his blog. At the weekend he wrote: This week our webspam team continued ramping up our anti-spam efforts by removing bmw.de from our index. ‘That’s 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”.’ A Google spokeswoman would not comment on the ban, but said: ‘We don’t tolerate websites that try to manipulate search results. Our aim is always to provide out users with the most relevant and objective results.’ A BMW spokesman said: ‘We are not misleading our users in terms of content.’ He added that he was confident www.bmw.de would be reinstated. UKFast is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites.

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