To Cloak Or Not To Cloak That Is The Question

In general page cloaking can be defined as a technique used to present different content or URLs to search engines and users under various circumstances. There are two main reasons for webmasters to use cloaking:

1) This technique enables them to use a separate optimized page for every search engine while having another visually pleasant page created for human visitors. When a search engine crawler come to visit your site, the page specifically designed for that crawler is delivered to it. The human visitors are not shown the pages that were created for search engines, because the content designed for the search engines may not be aesthetically pleasing, and may contain an overrepetition of keywords.
2) It lets webmasters cover up the source code of the optimized pages which prevents their rivals from copying the source code.

Cloaking is performed by means of special cloaking scripts that are installed on the server to detect whether it is a search engine bot or a human being requesting a page. To the former cloaking script delivers the page optimized for the particular search engine, to the latter – the page specifically designed for humans.

Now that you see what cloaking is all about, the question is whether you should use it or not. Well, cloaking is referred to one of the Black Hat SEO techniques for quite an obvious reason – search engines don’t like it. Should Google ever find out that your website uses cloaking, you risk having it banned from Google’s index for good. Indeed, cloaking prevents search engines from crawling the same page that their searchers are going to see. And if search engines cannot do so, they cannot be sure of providing their users with relevant search results. In the past lots of webmasters used to create optimized pages for highly popular keywords in order to use page cloaking then to direct people to their real websites which had to relation to those keywords. So if search engines didn’t ban site implementing cloaking, their users would leave them and resort to another search engine which could generate more relevant results.

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