What is Cloaking? Cloaking in SEO With Example – Why Not Use Cloaking Technique | Blackhat SEO

What is Cloaking?

– Cloaking is a technique that is used to deliver the content on a Web page to a search engine (Crawler) in such a way that different content than what is delivered to a normal human user appears on the search engine. The goal of cloaking is to boost a website’s search engine rank on certain keywords quickly.

In THis Video We Will Learn About…….

What is Cloaking in SEO in Hindi? Cloaking in detail, what are the disadvantages of Cloaking. Why not use Cloaking techniques in SEO.

Cloaking refers to the practice of presenting different content or URLs to human users and search engines. Cloaking is considered a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines because it provides our users with different results than they expected.

Some examples of cloaking include:

Serving a page of HTML text to search engines, while showing a page of images or Flash to users

Inserting text or keywords into a page only when the User-agent requesting the page is a search engine, not a human visitor

If your site uses technologies that search engines have difficulty accessing, like JavaScript, images, or Flash, see our recommendations for making that content accessible to search engines and users without cloaking.

If a site gets hacked, it’s not uncommon for the hacker to use cloaking to make the hack harder for the site owner to detect.

When talking about such widely used and abused (and forbidden) SEO technique as cloaking, Google’s official definition seems a bit fuzzy/general:

Cloaking refers to the practice of presenting different content or URLs to users and search engines. Serving up different results based on user-agent may cause your site to be perceived as deceptive and removed from the Google index.

and:

If the file that Googlebot sees is not identical to the file that a typical user sees, then you’re in a high-risk category…

So what’s exactly cloaking? Put simply, the ways it can be defined come down to two large groups of definitions:

Technically put: the return code / HTML shown to search robots and users are not the same.

Depending on the motivation behind serving two different versions of the page to search bots and people: if it is intended to manipulate/effect search engine rankings (“with intent to deceive”), it can be called “(evil) cloaking” of course (that should be punished for). If the technique is intended to enhance the user’s experience (e.g. “geo-cloaking”), it is legit.

So if you want to hide something from robots or to show them a slightly different page version for legit reasons, you should definitely have a look at the this forum thread at WebProWorld discussing what is cloaking, what is evil cloaking, and what is “conditional content”. A few potentially safe (but still questionable) tactics discussed include:

Using IFrames (“You can prevent the target of the (iframe) tag from being indexed by using a robots meta tag set to “noindex” or disallow the page in with the robots.txt file.”);

Using AJAX (here is a post describing a simple method to block a form from bots and search engines with Ajax);

CSS positioning the elements (like in the” Source ordered content” method);
Using text on graphics. (Please, note this quote from Google guidelines referred to above: “Some examples of cloaking include: Serving a page of HTML text to search engines while showing a page of images or Flash to users.”)

So what’s legit and what’s not? Of course, the “good motivation” approach answers this question but how easy is it implemented when a machine is to judge our intentions? “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” after all.

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