Don't make Google mad.
That's the lesson that the German arm of BMW learned this week, after the company's Web site was unceremoniously dumped from Google's search engine for violating rules about Web site promotion.
A Google employee explained on his blog that BMW Germany had used tricks including setting up "doorway pages" that would automatically redirect visitors to a different URL.
Some complained about Google's "Orwellian" power, saying the company might be getting too big for its britches. But other bloggers pointed out that BMW's tactics were essentially tricks aimed at deceiving search engine users, a big no-no in the search world.
Blog community response:
"The redirect scam was a direct violation of this master rule of the Google Webmaster Guidelines 'Don't deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users.' If the Google Guidelines were the 10 Commandments, the rule that BMW broke would be comparable to the 'Thou Shalt Not Kill' rule."
--Search Engine Journal
"Far from being a sensible exercise of search market power, the move strikes me as arbitrary, overly enamored of internal orthodoxy, and generally reeking of 'our way on the electronic highway'."
--Paul Kedrosky's Infectious Greed
"No doubt smaller companies and individual webmasters will be hearted by the fact that even big companies like BMW can get banned at Google. The reality is, however, that they'll be back in soon. Most big companies that get banned are put back in quickly because searchers expect to find them for navigational queries."
--Search Engine Watch