Would love some thoughts on this...
We've built a "search sniffer" where we detect that a visit is coming from Google and we serve up a few lines of text at the top of the page that inserts their keyword (for relevance) and explains what our site is (for context). This is a partial attempt to improve bounce rate from search visits.
It's more clear if you see an example: In Google, type in 'widget'. The first listing will be ours. You will see the box at the top of the page. This gets inserted only when the visit comes from search. If you just click on this page from our site, the box isn't there.
In the 3 weeks since it launched we have had a slight, but noticable, downturn in search traffic-it continues to decline each day. Appears we have declined in rankings (detailed keyword analysis difficult as we have thousands of small vol unique keywords--tail terms).
My obvious question is, Is this cloaking? We have no intention of black hat SEO. Since we've only had a slight decrease, it makes me think Google isn't penalizing us, or could they be a slight bit?
[edited by: incrediBILL at 8:17 pm (utc) on Aug. 11, 2009]
[edit reason] removed specifics, see TOS #13 [/edit]