« The Power of Google | Main | Defensive Search Engine Marketing »

February 04, 2006


M. Perez

Can google identify the difference between a good cloak and bad? The way you discuss cloaking for good purposes resonates well with me. The risk is being black listed, right? I appreciated the star trek reference in your article. MP


I happen to be somewhat of an expert on cloaking, and I have a couple of comments on your post.

First, your definition of cloaking is quite narrow. Cloaking is also employed by many major companies; they do what is called Geolocation cloaking. They determine, from your IP address, what part of the world you are from and show different content based on that.

There are other reasons to cloak, as well. Many site owners require users to pay a fee to view content, but would still like that content to be indexed by search engines. They cloak in order to present the content to the search engine spiders but show a subscription form to human viewers.

Lastly, I'd like to point out that cloaking a web page for search engine optimization purposes will not affect the "Page Rank" of the cloaked page. Page Rank is determined by the number and quality of links pointing at a page, not by what is on the page itself. Also, SEO cloaking is done primarily for defensive purposes -- the object is to make it so your competitors cannot rip off your HTML which is getting your good search engine rankings -- there is no intent to fool human viewers. Cloakers have no reason to lure people to websites they are not interested in visiting.


Dan, you make good comments. Geolocation makes solid sense. However - what does the search engine bots say about this - if/when discovered. To M. perez' comment - how can the engines tell the difference between good/bad cloaking.

However - cloaking can be used to enhance a websites ranking inapprorpriately. Like anything else - some tools can be used for good.. or evil. Depends on the user.

dan phillips

Cloaking the dark side of the internet .Well that's the way many people speak isn't?

Yet it has been show even Google cloaks at some point.The internet is full of wacko who
seem to run around deciding what is right and what is wrong.Seem to them there is this internet bible written from the hand of Al Gore LOL (you know the guy who invented the internet )
Most important is the cloaking program you are using.It is possible to maintain long-lasting cloaked pages But you must carefully design the content that is used. The reason pages are removed, in my opinion, isn't due to cross-checking from two separate bots, but due to more complex page/sentence structure analysis.
Let's go deeper here:
The Engines clearly look for overuse of certain terms... but nowadays this is a bit simplistic. You know when you type a sentence in Microsoft Word and it is highlights it if is grammatically incorrect?

My feeling is that engines may be employing similar technology: that is, if they find pages whose total sentences have a high error rate, well, this page might be de-indexed. This is perhaps why some people are seeing selective de-indexing of some of their pages: those pages probably repeated keywords too frequently, or had sentences that were too "fake".

To overcome this, you must carefully select the keywords that you are using, limit use of other SEO software, and carefully use the add-ons which allow you to easily overcome this.
Cloaking programs have to change as the internet changes to stay successful.
AND, there is something even more exciting coming down the cloaker pike.

dan phillips

Well as of date I have been cloaking a long time.

The search engines are getting smarter and smarter at fining your cloaked site.

If you use a cloaking software make sure you don't just go the same thing as everyone else you must make it different then the out of the box type cloaker.So take the time to learn and build to stay ahead of the google police.

The comments to this entry are closed.