A Risky SEO Practice along with its Alternative Methods

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If you are striving to accomplish the revenue goals from your online business with your website through SEO, then you better be aware of all the crucial SEO “Don’ts” that if not adhered to can potentially land you up in big trouble.

Here in this post I have discussed one of the most unethical or “Black Hat” SEO techniques that you must stay away from, if you really want to build a highly sustainable and successful online empire out of your website.


The term “Cloaking” can be defined in different ways. Cloaking is a technique used by web masters to return altered pages for the crawling search engine bots. It can also be defined as a technique that returns different content to the search engine bots than to the regular human visitors of the site in a shady attempt to preserve or improve the search engine rankings of the website.

Search engines esp. Google hates this technique and have always dealt with it with tooth and nail. It is a highly unethical practice that is highly frowned upon by the search engines as a black hat SEO technique employed to trick the users and to improve the Page Rank of a website by fooling the search engine bots. Search Engines always want to see what a typical human user would see when they visit a website. Any attempt to alter that phenomenon is considered as “cloaking” by the search engines. Google has zero tolerance on this technique and takes the most stringent if they find sites engaging in this practice. This technique is treated as an unethical SEO practice by the search engines and puts your website in a high risk category and can get your website banned or penalized by all major search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo.

Fortunately, over the period of time the Big G’ or Google started focusing more on the user experience, i.e. how the users see the content, rather than how the content is delivered physically – without diluting its stand on “cloaking” which is, Google must be able to see the same version that a regular user sees.
Google Approved Methods

Here is some content delivery methods that were once black listed by Google as “Cloaking” but now considered as accepted SEO practices.

Geo-location – This is a method that is accepted by Google where the users see the content that is relevant to their geographical location. This is accomplished with the help of IP detection, cookies and user logins.

E.g. If you are running a global company that offers services in <a href=”http://www.simpleseogroup.com/chicago-seo”>SEO in Chicago</a>, LA and East Coast as well as in other parts of the world, but if a user from Chicago lands up on your site, it will only display the services of SEO in Chicago and not of LA or East Coast or any other part of the world.

First Click Free – This method is implemented on a paid subscription site where the user is allowed full access to the page on your site that he lands up after clicking on a listing on the Google Search Results but is asked to register or pay up if he tries to move away from that page by clicking on a link. Google bot is also given full access just like a Paid Member to the page making it an acceptable method by Google.

Java Script Replacement – In this method you can show the Javascript content to a non-javascript user or Google bot that matches the textual information within a flash or other multimedia element.

Landing Page Testing – It is accepted by Google to use Google Website Optimizer to run multivariate testing campaign on your website pages. This method uses Javascript and Google bot would see what any other non-Javascript user would see.

URL Rewriting – In this method you can strip out unwanted parameters and junk values from a URL using Javascript at the server side which are not required to render a web page. This is an accepted method as the underlying content remains the same and not done after detecting the Google bot.

If you want to make the maximum out of your SEO efforts then being aware of these accepted SEO methods would really come in handy.

What have you found to work best in your SEO efforts? Leave a comment below.

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One thought on “A Risky SEO Practice along with its Alternative Methods

  1. Amit Arora

    Hay Braendan,
    Nice post this will really helps to gain more web traffic by following these simple trics, Thanks for sharing this info with us.


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