Google’s PageRank and Google’s Justice System
Google doesn’t look kindly upon attempts to game its PageRank system. Google PageRank is the way Google determines what order to display search results. The higher a page’s rank is, the higher up the page appears in a search results list.
According to Google:
PageRank performs an objective measurement of the importance of web pages by solving an equation of more than 500 million variables and 2 billion terms. Instead of counting direct links, PageRank interprets a link from Page A to Page B as a vote for Page B by Page A. PageRank then assesses a page’s importance by the number of votes it receives.
PageRank also considers the importance of each page that casts a vote, as votes from some pages are considered to have greater value, thus giving the linked page greater value. Important pages receive a higher PageRank and appear at the top of the search results. Google’s technology uses the collective intelligence of the web to determine a page’s importance. There is no human involvement or manipulation of results, which is why users have come to trust Google as a source of objective information untainted by paid placement.
What happens when a website tries to game Google’s PageRank system? Philipp Lenssen has an interesting post about one such case over at Google Blogoscoped:
From what it looks like, the German websites of car maker BMW have been kicked out of the Google index. BMW.de at this time has a PageRank of 0. A search for BMW Germany, which only days ago yielded BMW.de as a top result, now doesn’t show any sign of BMW.de at all. Instead, BMW.com – BMW’s international site – is on top for this search.
The reason for the ban is likely to be that the BMW websites have been caught employing a technique used by black-hat search engine optimizers: doorway pages. German and international bloggers last week were quick to spread the news.
As you may know, a doorway page is stuffed full of keywords that the site feels a need to be optimized for; however, as opposed to real pages, this doorway is only displayed to the Googlebot. Human visitors will be immediately redirected to another page upon visit. And that’s exactly what happened at BMW.de, as reported Wednesday.
I wonder whether an offending website can ever get reinstated. Or is the penalty one of permanent banishment?