Ach, so

Google blacklists the German BMW site. And the German Rocketboom protests.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Nevermind the man behind the curtain. I’m testing CoComment.

  • Angelos

    Do no evil?

    Google can do whatever it wants, and I can always pick another engine. Usually I do.

    They set up a system. Someone tries to game the system. Always have, always will.

    So, what now? BMW doesn’t exist?

  • http://michaelzimmer.org Michael Zimmer

    What is your position on this, Jeff? Do you feel Google has the right to decide who is listed in their index, or do all sites have the right to be indexed? Are search engiens gateways, or gatekeepers?

  • Andy Freeman

    > Do you feel Google has the right to decide who is listed in their index, or do all sites have the right to be indexed?

    The site in question was designed so it couldn’t be indexed by googlebot.; it served different content to googlebot than it served to browsers.

    What should google do when the content that it’s allowed to index isn’t the content that other users will see?

  • Chris

    It’s googles index, they make the rules; follow them or be left out. It’s their right to do so.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Michael,
    It is Google’s index and Google’s rules. It may feel like a public utility but it’s not yet. But if Google is going to get tough on this, with legitimate companies, I wish they would get tough on the sploggers and others who are gaming the system to illegitimate means. And with a whole industry of seo now operating, i’l bet the lines in google’s rules aren’t necessarily clear to all.

  • Andy Freeman

    > And with a whole industry of seo now operating, i’l bet the lines in google’s rules aren’t necessarily clear to all.

    The existence of a seo industry does not imply or even suggest that google’s rules are not clear.

    However, that’s not relevant in this case.

    BMW Germany’s site gave different content to Google’s indexer than it gave to users. If a site is designed so Google’s indexer doesn’t have the content that the site will show to users, what should Google do?

    Does the answer really depend on whether the company is legitimate? If so, what definition of “legitimate” are we using and why should legitimate companies get special privs to deceive search engines and (indirectly) users?