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Cloaking Forum

    
phpBB3 and possible cloaking penalty?
Can this cause a SE Penalty?
thecoalman

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3381809 posted 6:13 am on Jun 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

The newest version of phpBB3 now has special group for bots, you can assign privileges to it. For example if you have private forum that can only be accessed if you're logged in you can allow the bot to access it but the regular user will get a "You must be logged in to view this" message.

The above example is really of no concern to me. However what is a concern is it also will hide select links in the main navigation and elsewhere such as the members list page, post buttons, etc. Generally links that Google wouldn't want to index anyway. In other words every page on the forum will be slightly different that what the general public will be served.

Do you think this is a genuine concern?

 

volatilegx

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3381809 posted 3:15 pm on Jul 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

. However what is a concern is it also will hide select links in the main navigation and elsewhere such as the members list page, post buttons, etc. Generally links that Google wouldn't want to index anyway. In other words every page on the forum will be slightly different that what the general public will be served.

Do you think this is a genuine concern?

I don't think it's really something to be concerned about. The content will be substantially the same.

thecoalman

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3381809 posted 8:12 pm on Jul 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

Substanially yes but isn't it a common practice for people that are cloaking to add such links. Just to add the locations of these links are at the top and bottom of every page. One example would be the memberlist page which can contain links to offsite webpages.

I'm not concerned about someone from Google seeing my forum and labling it spam, it's obviuosly not. However I'm sure they must have some "stealth" bots roaming around looking for such things and I'm concerned about getting caught up in some automated filter. If I was somehugebrandname.com it's not a concern but I'm not.

There's other things that have me concerned too such as hidden text. Again minor things such as the post reply button that has text hidden behind it with CSS.

My site is doing fairly well. I just don't want next post to be "Ive been banned from Google"

volatilegx

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3381809 posted 8:06 pm on Jul 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

Personally I'd worry more about the hidden text. The probability of being banned over some links is minimal, especially if those links to not appear to be promotional in nature, i.e. they point to URLs in the same domain.

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