What Cloaking does?
Everyone wants the top spot on the search engines yet not everybody is honest to that motive.
Ranking high on Google is necessary for every website because it directly affects the leads. If you are creating a website, it is your responsibility to make it familiar to the Google bots so they can help people to find your website. You need to create a website that is attractive not only to regular users but for the Google crawlers as well. Loosing that factor can even penalize your website in various ways.
Talking about ranking factor, search engine optimization is a MUST today if you want your targeted audience to find you.
Nothing more, nothing less!
Creating a website attractive to a crawler means that you have to follow the rules and few tools which can directly help you in that respect. But it is not common everywhere.
Many people follow the short cut ways to get the highest spot – all in one night. The black hat SEO techniques have become very common in practice these days. But these are good for nothing.
One of these black hat SEO techniques is CLOAKING.
Cloaking is a technique in which the content presented to the crawler is totally different than the content presented to the visitor. This is a misguided phenomenon for the crawler and the visitor.
What it does?
Through cloaking, the content submitted to the bot looks like relevant to the title. For example: if my website is about windshield replacement services and I submit the content to the bot through Cloaking, the Google bot classifies my website among the ‘car’ category. When a user clicks the link to my website, supposing it to be some windshield replacement services provider, he finds no such relevant content. Instead he finds the affiliate links, advertisements or any fallacious content (that is totally irrelevant).
It puts question mark upon the authenticity of the search engine.
But it is not the same case every time.
Google bots are smart and they know how to tackle these false activities. Once it gets something suspicious it can even ban a website.
Hit hard, right?
Cloaking is one of those misleading techniques which irritate not only crawler but the visitor as well. Through cloaking, a website may get the dream spot but for no long. Once the website gets identified for the black hat SEO techniques, it gets penalized for the lifetime.
In some cases:
Many websites have this feature of showing content to the visitors depending upon their IP address and location through Geo-IP. Through Geo-IP, a site reads out the IP address of a visitor who logs in and shows him the content like weather information etc. depending upon the location. Being location specific, this information is not displayed to Google robots. This is not cloaking because the information showed to the bots or even to the visitors is location specific.
Cloaking being short term strategy
Through cloaking, a website may enjoy high ranks but not for a long time. Cloaking is termed as a ‘short term’ strategy to get over-night fame but it is not something dependable.
Cloaking badly affects a website. It is highly disliked by the search engines and as a result they can also black list a website. It means that your website is banned on every search engine, leaving your website a blank identity.
Keep your visitor at the safer side
It is your website so it is your duty to protect your visitors from any sort of annoyance. Keep a check on the content as well as the code. Even if you are a non-programmer, do consult an expert. If you want to target audience based on their location, it won’t come under cloaking. But try to treat the Google bot as ‘just another visitor’. Avoid the spam comments and fake URLs. You can also take the help of Google webmaster tools so you can master the ranking game.