Google Bans BMW Germany, Ricoh Germany

Last week, I wrote about BMW Germany being spotted spamming search engines. Google's Matt Cutts posted on Saturday that the site is now out of Google -- and the Ricoh Germany would also be removed for spamming (it's out now). The move has sparked what I'd call unprecedented coverage by mainstream publications on a spam removal (BBC, Forbes, London Times, Financial Times, Sydney Morning Herald).

The Financial Times and Forbes articles are especially worth reading. BMW criticizes Google for not contacting it first in the Financial Times:

"Google has decided to spread this information which has created this, I'd almost say, media hype," [BMW] said. "They spread it on Saturday, a few days after the pages had been taken off. They hadn't talked to us beforehand which we found a bit surprising."

Hey, how about not having allowed it in the first place? If it wasn't out for the public to see and discuss, BMW wouldn't have an issue.

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. I cover that more in our Search Engine Watch Forums thread, Google Removes BMW Germany For Spamming.

Whether BMW will now face a public relations black eye for having spammed Google remains to be seen. I kind of doubt it, but I'm pretty cynical about these things.

Meanwhile, Dave Naylor spots BMW France apparently has spam issues, as well. Somehow, I suspect the talks that Google and BMW are having right now means they might escape the axe if the spammy stuff is quickly removed.

Finally, just a chuckle. Matt's reported by Forbes as being "a blogger who purports to work for Google," while the London Times calls him "a blogger claiming to be a Google software engineer."