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Google Blacklisted BMW, Ricoh Sites

Google has blacklisted the German Web site of BMW after the auto maker allegedly tried to boost the likelihood it would be found in certain Internet searches, according to a "blog" posted by a Google employee.
LONDON — Google Inc. has blacklisted the German Web site of BMW after the Munich-based automaker allegedly tried to boost the likelihood it would be found in certain Internet searches, according to a blog posted by Google employee Matt Cutts.

The “Ricoh.de” Web site was also due to be removed from what Cutts called "our index" for a similar reason, he said. Tokyo-based Ricoh Co. Ltd. supplies office equipment such as printers and photocopiers.

Cutts posted the information on his blog under the headline “Ramping up on international webspam” on Friday (Feb. 4). It was accessible when this story was first posted.

The blog is described thus: “A Google employee gives insight into goings-on at the firm, search engine index updates and SEO issues.” SEO is thought to stand for search engine optimization.

In the blog, Cutts alleged that BMW had violated a rule that is part of Google's Webmaster quality guidelines, namely, "Don’t deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users.” Cutts added that although BMW had apparently removed some of the offending pages, he expected Google would require that BMW submit a "reinclusion request” and that BMW would have to identify those responsible for creating the offending pages.

"We’ll probably also need some assurances that such pages won’t reappear on the sites before the domains can be reincluded," Cutts commented.

When www.bmw.de was typed into the Google search field, Google responded, “Sorry, no information is available for the URL www.bmw.de." A similar result was obtained when searching on www.ricoh.de.