There is an interesting discussion going on at Digital Point about WebmasterWorld’s cloaking setup. Basically if you click on a result in Google for WebmasterWorld, you get sent to a login page, where they suggest you pay for a membership and very small type where you can login for free.  So basically the average user gets a login screen and the googlebot gets the actual page content.

There has been a bunch of talk about this, but I have yet to see anyone from Google say it is ok.  Of course WMW is fairly well known so you’d think if there was a problem it would have been noticed by now.  If this is ok, it is a great way for people to get more subscribers to their website–show the results in Google, but don’t let them see it until they sign up.

1 Comment

  1. Miichael Strong

    December 4, 2007 @ 7:49 pm


    A lot more is known about what Google thinks of cloaking.

    Basically, its OK if it is done by large companies that are significant advertisers with Google. For example, Google allows BMW to use cloaking to ensure that it gets to the top of the search engines for any term that it thinks might generate relevant traffic.

    Google also has been caught using cloaking itself!!

    BUT – it does not like (and will seriously punish) other webmasters who use cloaking. There is no “moral” reason for this! Its all about the bottom line. Lets face it Google is trying to ensure that it has a large piece of ANY financial transaction that happens on the web. Webmasters that can slip through the Google chorale are hunted down and destroyed!!

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