BMW Germany’s website has been removed from Google for deceptive SEO practices. (Coverage is available from BoingBoing, Digg, and the original scoop from Google Blogoscoped.

Allow me to explain what’s going on here. The BMW.de site employed a technique known as “doorway pages”. These doorways were stuffed with tons and tons of keywords that BMW felt were relevant to its website. Regular users, however, never saw those pages; a JavaScript redirect was embedded to whisk humans way to the normal BMW.de site. Web robots do not process JavaScript, and therefore read the keyword-stuffed page. This is a deceptive practice designed to artificially boost Google rankings, and is specifically against Google’s Webmaster Quality Guidelines.

Matt Cutts briefly discusses the issue and provides screenshots of the doorway pages in his write-up and confirmation of Google’s action. Let this be a warning against overzealous search engine optimization (SEO). No cheating!