Google recently informed Volkswagen that their newly released homepage infringes their guidelines because it was discovered that it contains hidden text in the page source. As you
might know, the search giant announced the new layout of Volkswagen's page yesterday, sustaining the website is now based on Search Appliance powered by Google. However, Search Engine Land analyzed the webpage and discovered that the flash-based search engine contains hidden text, an element strictly prohibited by the Mountain View company. It seems that the webmaster didn't even try to hide the text as the entire description was marked as "Invisible Content", allowing all users to view them from the page source.
"As Danny was explaining the news on the Daily Search Cast today, he noticed that the site loads the box up in Flash. Looking at the source code, he discovered hidden text! Yes, hidden text on a page that was featured by an official Google blog," Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Land reported.
However, it seems that Google was informed quite quickly and contacted Volkswagen's webmasters to resolve the issue. "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. 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," Kevin Gough, Sr. Product & Marketing Manager at Google, sustained today.
In the past, BMW, another car producer, was removed from the Google index after it was discovered that their website contains hidden text.