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BMW has joined a long list of porn operators by being banned by Google for cheating. The giant search engine Company Google has flexed its muscles and dropped BMW from its global search engine following the German car manufacturer’s attempts to artificially boost its popularity ranking similar to the way porn operators attract traffic to a site. Also set to join the banned list is Ricoh.

BMW has joined a long list of porn operators by being banned by Google for cheating. The giant search engine Company Google has flexed its muscles and dropped BMW from its global search engine following the German car manufacturer’s attempts to artificially boost its popularity ranking similar to the way porn operators attract traffic to a site. Also set to join the banned list is Ricoh.

The delisting was reported by Matt Cutts, a software engineer at Google, who works to stop websites tricking the system by featuring hidden text or different content from what the website visitor sees. In his blog, Cutts wrote that the methods used by BMW were a violation of the search engine’s guidelines, and that a second company, camera maker ricoh.de will be removed soon for similar reasons shortly.

“Don’t deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users”, said Cutts on his blog entry. The delisting will mean that searching for terms like “BMW” or “BMW Australia” on Google will not return a direct link to the car company’s Australian website, bmw.com.au, but instead the global site.

Moreover, bmw.com.de’s PageRank, the algorithms that assign every page on the web a sort of popularity ranking, has been reset to zero. Many big publishers and website owners enlist the help of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) experts to help improve search appeal in search engines, and while most methods are acceptable, some are deemed to be unethical. These so-called black hat tactics are commonly used by gambling or pornography sites.

BMW is  one of the highest profile companies to have a website blacklisted by Google, they are also one of the early adopters of web technology to sell cars using such technology as 3D rendering and easy to rotate technology so that consumers can see inside cars as well as pick colours and various fit outs.

However of late the BMW brand has started to slip with thousands now turning to Audi. On the race track BMW were unable to deliver one single win last year in Formula One with the Williams team. Now they are set to race their own team in an effort to prove that the brand and their engines still have it. They have also come under pressure in the high end of the luxury car market with consumers shunning the “high Tech” BMW 7 series. Another problem for the Company is quality. Plastic used on door handles and steering wheels on such vehicles as the $170,000 M3 are peeling away after only two years of use, yet despite this the Company is refusing to replace the faulty plastic. 

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