If you’ve thought about taking a shortcut to SEO success, it may be time to think again. Notably, even some of the world’s most established companies have received Google penalties for their approach to SEO.

If you’re wondering where these household names went wrong, read on to see why they received a Google penalty. There are definitely some mistakes to learn from!


In 2006, BMW landed itself with a Google penalty following the accusation of setting up ‘doorway’ pages. 

Essentially, BMW was showing Google bots pages that had the phrase ‘Used Cars’ repeated 40 times, but continued showing its users the authentic pages of content.

This is an avoidable mistake, and SEO techniques have certainly moved on from this risky approach to boosting rankings.


Though this Google penalty case remains unconfirmed, it was reported that in 2013 the UK’s national broadcaster received a Google penalty for using unnatural links on a web page.

However, it’s thought this particular instance may not have been the company’s own doings, and instead a RRS feed fault.


Similarly to BMW, 2005 saw WordPress receive a Google penalty for ‘doorway’ pages. The website was penalised by Google for several days after hosting over 150,000 articles written to spam Google with high-value phrases.

It’s well worth taking this case into account, as companies still get carried away with overusing phrases, or placing them in content unnaturally. It’s this sort of approach that can leave companies finding themselves in hot water for cutting corners.


Though the details are unconfirmed, eBay also found itself with a Google penalty in 2014 and a drop in rankings.

This would have resulted in significant traffic loss, which for smaller businesses could cause greater problems. So if you don’t feel confident about your SEO strategy, it’s imperative that you consult an expert.


Proof that nobody is exempt from Google penalties, Google Chrome itself has been penalised with lower rankings due to buying links for promoting its own browser in 2012.

Home Depot

The Home Depot made an avoidable mistake in 2012 when it asked its partners to link back to its site using recommended anchor text.

To make matters worse, the company advised that the links could be hidden, using white text and a white background, and by placing text behind an image. This risky move resulted in a two month drop from the first SERP, so when it comes to SEO, it’s not worth cheating your way to the top!

Improve Your SEO Strategy Today 

When it comes to climbing the Google ranks, it’s well worth investing in a helping hand to ensure you don’t receive a Google penalty, or encounter setbacks of your own.
At Candy Marketing, we can take care of your SEO strategy and ensure that your SEO approach is implemented with expertise. 
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team today. Good SEO can revolutionise your business and take your conversions to the next level.
To find out more about our SEO services, contact Candy today on 0161 826 0123 or email us hello@candymarketing.co.uk and we’ll be happy to set up a meeting with you at your earliest convenience.