Don’t we all want our website or webpage to be the first in search engine results (SERP)? All we have to do is to optimize our website to make it look user-friendly, creative and informative. However, this can be a gradual process. We don’t want to wait for the search engine optimization process.
Use “Black Hat SEO Techniques” to get the best SERP more easily. One of the methods is SEO cloaking.
What is cloaking? What is SEO cloaking technique? This article will tell you more about disguise and whether you should use it to optimize your website.
What is Cloaking?
Cloaking is an SEO technique that provides users with content or information that is different from the content presented to search engine crawlers.
Websites send content to search engine robots or spiders to improve search engine rankings for certain keywords. The hidden server of the website is specially programmed to provide search engines with content that is different from ordinary users.
Cloaking is used to improve the search engine ranking of a website or webpage by making search engine crawlers believe that the content of the page is different and in some cases even more informative and better than the actual content.
Some cloaking examples are:
- A search engine HTML text page that can effectively provide users with images or Flash file pages.
- Display of keywords in the content only when the crawler requests the page, not when a real visitor visits the page.
What Does Cloaking in Black Hat SEO Include?
In black hat SEO, cloaking can be used to manipulate search engines and rank pages, otherwise these keywords will not be ranked; however, since it was first implemented at the beginning of search in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it has largely lost its validity in today’s date.
Currently, when cloaking is discovered, Google and other major search engines punish it. This means that although the act may be temporary, it will greatly increase the likelihood of a website being fined.
The disguise against search engine spiders has no place in white hat SEO, although cloaking is used to improve the user experience, such as by providing different language versions or different mobile/PC versions of the website, used as white-already applicable.
Cloaking Black Hat SEO Techniques
1# User Agent Cloaking
User agent disguise is very common, but it is also the riskiest one. Just identify the visitor user agent and adjust the content accordingly. For example, if the system determines that the visitor is a human rather than a robot, the displayed page is human (small text, beautiful pictures, etc.).
When the user agent is a robot, the rendered page will be super-optimized with a lot of text. But why complicate things? Because SEO and UX are sometimes not well coordinated, ranking pages requires content and quality, which requires some web design experience, so as not to provide boring pages, that is, design the page time to meet the needs of robots and users.
Splitting the page into 2 versions is faster, a clear visual version and the original version with optimized text. However, this method tends to disappear because it is easily recognized by robots, especially when using CSS.
2# IP Address Based Cloaking
Every user who visits a website has an IP address based on his location and Internet service they are using. This is just a series of numbers we see on the record. IP masquerading is the process of finding an IP address and configuring content based on public information. This technique is widely used to customize content based on the user’s location. It can also be used to detect search engine crawlers to provide well-optimized pages. In this way, the bot “thinks” that the page is rich and relevant, and may place it in the top search results.
4# Old-fashioned Cloaking Using Hidden Text
This is the dirtiest and most dangerous technique. It only involves adding invisible text (for example, writing in white on a white background) and spreading it over the entire page. Well, 10 or 15 years ago, it might be helpful but now this is just an outdated method and should be avoided. Google knows how to discover these hidden texts. If not specifically stated in robots.txt (avoid it), CSS can be used by robots, so they know how to detect this fraud method.
5# Cloaking through HTTP-Referer and HTTP Accept-Language
This method verifies the HTTP_REFERER header of the requester, and based on this, different versions of the page can be displayed. The second method is to verify the user’s Accept-Language HTTP header based on the match, which will cause a specific version of the website to be displayed.
Is Cloaking Illegal?
Cloaking is an attempt to distort search engine rankings by creating disguised content. This is an illegal practice and is considered a black hat SEO hiding method. Sometimes search engines will permanently ban indexed sites involving cloaking technique.
Google continues to update its algorithm on a regular basis. If the algorithm detects that you have used disguise in terms of cloaking on your website, you may be blacklisted by Google. BMW was blacklisted by Google in February 2006 for violating its rules.
The Bottom Line
Some people will take all risks without hesitation, and some will strictly abide by Google’s guidelines. In any case, if you do not have advanced technical knowledge, we do not recommend you to do this.
In fact, although all kinds of cloaking methods are attractive, they are riskier. You can still use white hat and grey hat techniques. They are less dangerous and very effective. However, this requires active time to ensure that Google will not tighten the rules.
So be careful, and boost your SEO wisely!