Volkswagen's US marketing web team has made changes to the way its pages are constructed following an intervention from Google. had been featured by Google's Enterprise blog last week for making search front and centre of a new design.

But, Search Engine Land found, in an effort to raise the site's visibility in search engines, site developers had used an HTML class "invisibleContent" that goes against Google's rules.

The class, on a page containing a Flash applet, included text describing the car marker's vehicle range that was rendered invisible to human readers but was digested by search crawlers.

Kevin Gough, Google's senior product manager for Enterprise, confirmed he contacted Volkswagen to request a change because the tactic "is not in keeping with Google's site quality guidelines".

"I reached out to the technical director of VW's creative agency and found out that they were including the keywords in this manner to increase the amount of content crawled by the Google Search Appliance for the Flash-based pages of the site," Gough wrote.

"Once alerted to this, VW switched to including relevant keywords in the META data in the of the web pages on the site, an approach that is in keeping with Google quality guidelines."

BMW and even Google itself have previously fallen foul of the rule.

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Comments (4)



isn't this strange? even big name such as VW is doing some invinsible stuff to gain search engine spider's crawling ... if google is really as strict as what it claims to be in protecting advertisers' investment then VW should be "banned" as well and not only making small publishers as the scapegoat and shows investors how they punish publishers who violate their rules ...

but i guess google does not dare to touch big corporate for obvious reason ...

about 11 years ago

Chris Lake

Chris Lake, CEO at Empirical Proof

Does VW really need to do this sort of thing? Not really. It is amazing that we're still seeing this sort of thing, years after it was recognised to be a dumb move.

about 11 years ago


Matt Robson

Yes, it's obvious why VW and big corporations don't have the same enforcement of guidelines. The guidelines are there to serve relevance. So, it would be pointless to reduce relevance (remove, or demote VW) as a matter of principle for following the guidelines. The guidelines were made to serve relevancy. Relevancy trumps guidelines.

about 11 years ago



cloaking is still a controversial subject, although there is nothing bad about doing it. Here is an article related to cloaking. Its worth to read it

almost 11 years ago

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