Monday, 21 November 2011

Cloaking is not White Hat SEO

Cloaking is showing of different page to user than to Google bot. Suppose, if a user comes to a server and asks for a webpage, server responds him with a sort of page having particular content on it. However, when Google bot asks for the same page and server provides the page with different content, this is called Google cloaking.

 Matt cutts says "there is no such thing as white hat cloaking".
Imagine that a server is showing a webpage with content about iphones to Google bot and it's showing the page with content having illegal stuff to users. Hence, if a user searches for iphones on a search engine, he may get the page on iphones and when clicked,will be directed to page with illegal stuff which is totally a bad experience for the user. This is really against the quality rules of Google. As user and Google bot are getting different contents for the same url, Cloaking can not be considered white hat.

Most of the people consider Cloaking similar to geolocation or mobousers but it's not so. In geoloacation, server makes decisions on the basis of IP addressess. If request for page is coming from French IP address, either server may provide content in French Language or provide the page in .fr domain. The response of server is not same for Google bot and a country is not specified for Google bot belongs to. But, the content for both, user as well as Bot, is same and hence it's not similar to Cloaking. Similarly, it's fine to respond by giving more squeezed version of website to mobo user but not to google bot.

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