Getting ranked on Google is great for business, right? Well, despite the obvious commercial benefits of the number 1 spot on Google, one website is having a good attempt at throwing it away - by blocking Googlebot.
A large UK chemical supplier, SciChem Ltd, currently holds top spot for the keyword phrase "chemical supplies" - no doubt pretty lucrative if that's your line of business. However, a search for the phrase currently brings up a rather unusual snippet:
The IP address that has been "logged and is now banned for improper use of this site" is none other than Googlebot.
Googlebot's IP block was probably triggered automatically during the course of its regular crawl and (judging by the website's continued high rankings) is likely to have happened fairly recently.
The danger is that unless the ban isn't lifted in the near future, the website's ranking could suffer badly. As far as Google is concerned, the website content is limited to the message it receives; they'll probably let a failed crawl or two go - most sites are down through maintenance or problems at least once in a while - but any longer and Google starts to think the problem is permanent and won't want to rank or send visitors to the site any more.