• http://www.seoptimise.com kevgibbo

    At least the disguised the fact it was hidden well with their choice of class name!

  • http://www.seo-theory.com/ Michael Martinez

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone spam the search engines for highly monetizable words like “homepage” and “home page” before.

    I wonder what their homepage-based spam revenues have been like?

  • savage

    .invisibleContent { width:1px; height:1px; visibility:hidden; overflow:hidden;}

  • http://www.worldfire.com weslinda

    The better news is that the don’t just do this on the home page, they do this throughout the site with unique “content” in the invisibleContent area depending on where you are. Wonder if they are doing this for the “exposure”? Could that be the reason they were so obvious?

  • http://www.jlh-design.com JLH

    Nice catch, but in all fairness to Google, this certainly isn’t the first time they’ve had two sets of rules for the little people and for those who have connections. What would be news if they treated all sites the same.

  • http://joeduck.wordpress.com Joe Duck

    Barry it’s another good Google “gotcha” and shows that Google often implements the rules inconsistently. This is one of many reasons it would be nice to see pressure from you, Danny, SEW, WMW, SearchEngineLand to get Google to create a “Chief of Collateral Damage” who would help examine the ways the algo sometimes punishes “good” sites while rewarding “cheating” sites as they have here.

  • http://www.innerauto.com/ The Car Geek

    I think I already visited that site and it was a really cool site… Changing, adding, replacing your choosen VW aftermarket part and automatically computes for the cost of the VW was the coolest part of that site.. I did not noticed that they already broke some rules of the Google which regards in using html codes…

  • http://www.seoimage.com/ seoimage

    In fairness to Google, you cannot expect them to check every site before they will except ad or partnership dollars?

    Perhaps the Googlers like their VWs but not their BMWs?
    :)

  • http://www/thuk.co.uk Neuro

    Odd

    It would be ok if they where sniffing the flash and displaying text to a non flash browser.

    VW do seem to have a habbit of breaking the rules.

    Though I wonder if its a lame atempt to handle nonflash browsers.

    What is it with car manafacturuers and flash what does say ttremastered do for audi’s brand.

  • http://blog.outer-court.com Philipp Lenssen

    Google pinged them and VW quickly changed it:
    http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2007/05/vw-website-updates.html

    Question: Does Google reach out to all sites with hidden text before they ban them, or just to big ones?

  • Eugeniu

    Why do they hide content , there is a “legal” way to hide it . They can just place a small button and onclick will show the content :)

  • follett

    Just one small point -
    The Car Geek….
    I read your comments above (and of course noted the nifty little link that you have added in your post)
    Thanks for the 3x spam comments which you tried to add to my blog this am.
    It’s getting a little tiresome…

    ///
    I think I already visited that site and it was a really cool site… Changing, adding, replacing your choosen VW aftermarket part and automatically computes for the cost of the VW was the coolest part of that site.. I did not noticed that they already broke some rules of the Google which regards in using html codes…
    ///

  • ceggi

    Hi,

    I can’t see the with the class “invisibleContent” in the VW source code. I’m on http://www.vw.com and viewing the “Page Source” using Firefox. When I look at the CSS file http://www.vw.com/global/css/html_default_v2.css, I do see the “invisibleContent” tag, but I’d like to know how to see the we’re talking about in the source code as well. . .

    Can you let me know what I’m missing?

    Thanks!

  • ceggi

    Re-posting my question since it came out wrong–sorry for the duplication.

    I’d like to know how to view the div we’re talking about in the source code. I can see the “invisibleContent” class in the CSS, but not the div that contains the invisible text. I’m using “View Source” in the Firefox browser. Do I need a different tool to see the div? Or has VW already removed it?

    Thanks!

  • savage

    ceggi, yes they took it down already. read all comments before leaving your own.

    “In fairness to Google, you cannot expect them to check every site before they will except ad or partnership dollars?”

    i thought google’s core function was “checking sites” ?? a company who is going to “organize the world’s information” should be able to handle “checking every website” right?

  • http://www.netpaths.net/blog/vw-hidden-text-spam/ CVOS

    It looks like VW is quite embarassed over this. Did they hire a shady SEO firm or was hidden text the brilliant idea of the VP of marketing?

    Either way, you can see the old cached version here (it wont last long):
    vw cached spam

    the current page disallows caching. This will be interesting: VW doesn’t want search engines to cache its pages? They go from spamming for dollars to blocking indexing spiders?

    their code:
    meta http-equiv=”Pragma” content=”no-cache”

  • http://www.seekxl.de/blog/2007/05/10/vw-setzt-auf-google-search-appliance/ seekXL

    a good new design, but the tagcloud never change? static tagcloud?