google blacklisting happens

I've encountered some people who basically don't believe that Google will blacklist a site for dodgy search engine optimisation activities. Boing Boing has posted an article about BMW Germany's site ( site being removed from the index for serving entirely different content out to search engines: Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO | Ramping up on international webspam.

Cutts has also posted on how to get back into the index: Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO | Filing a reinclusion request.

I'm still not convinced that Google's new stance won't end up blacklisting or lowering the pagerank of sites with legitimate alternative content. Time will tell, I guess. Not to mention the fact that pagerank is basically a mystery anyway, so who would know?

Update 2009.04.26: Google has posted a video with tips on filing a good reconsideration request. Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Tips on requesting reconsideration.



  1. Anonymous Cam, February 07, 2006 9:37 a.m.: 

    > "legitimate alternative content"

    What do you mean by this? The various image/flash text replacement techniques (FIR, Leahy/Langridge, sIFR, etc)?

    At a first glance, these would seem to be vastly different to using javascript to do serve completely different content to a searchbot, so not sure that they'd trigger a blacklisting.

    While the actual algorithms of pagerank are (justifiably) hidden, there have been many articles (and some peer-reviewed academic work, I've heard) written about how it works. Just try googling "pagerank." :)

  2. Blogger 200ok, February 13, 2006 11:19 p.m.: 

    I'm thinking of text alternatives for media (object tag), legitimate noscript content and so forth. These techniques all constitute serving out entirely different content depending on the user agent. They're legitimate, but how is the 'bot to know?

    As for pagerank - articles can be peer-reviewed to within an inch of their lives. The only people who know for sure are the people at Google :) The rest of us are just guessing. Educated, peer-reviewed guesses perhaps... but they're still guesses.