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Experts. Is this cloaking?

Msg#: 4338657 posted 8:43 pm on Jul 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hi everybody.
Im new to WebmasterWorld.

My question is the following:

I have an aspx application.
In every GET the server respond with a "basic" html containing everything except table grids. This grids are then rendered by javascript on onload event.

This "grid information" is contained in a input type hidden (json format) in the page.

This is by design and cannot be changed.

In this situation google is not indexing the information in tabular grids, because it is rendered by javascript after page load.

The application has the ability to render the exact same content in HTML without using javascript (loosing some functionality). When I say the same exact content I really mean the same page, but not being render by javascript.

So, I want to deliver the "HTML" version to spiders and the other (javascript rendered) to visitors.

Is this cloaking?
This may be dangerous to search engines?

Thanks in advance,



WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month

Msg#: 4338657 posted 12:00 am on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

Are you talking about physical appearance of the tables? If so, don't give it a thought. Or are you talking about the actual text content of those same tables?

Are users with javascript disabled allowed to see your pages at all? If so, you're talking about "added value" rather than a substantive difference. I don't think it could even be considered cloaking. Make that: I don't think it should even be considered cloaking.


WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 4338657 posted 12:35 am on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

This should be fine if it is just presentation changes.


Msg#: 4338657 posted 12:49 am on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

Lucy, g1smd,

Thanks for the reply.
I will give an example in order to clear this out.

A normal visitor wil see this:
text, labels, inputs...

<div id='gridcontainer'></div>
more html
mote html

Then onpage load I render dynamically by using javascript a table inside div (gridcontainer).
So after onload event is executed, the user see also the tabe grid insidde div.

I need that the 'grid' to be seen by crawlers.
So I have the ability to render this when spybot is detected:

text, labels, inputs...

<div id='gridcontainer'>
<td>cell1</td> <td>cell2</td> <td>cell3</td> <td>cell4</td>
more html
mote html

The page is exactly the same (no tricks), except that the content inside the div (gridcontainer) for the visitors will be rendered dynamically via Javascript and JSON objects, and for google bots will be pure html.

Will this be considered a ilegal method?
Basically what i intend to do is detect if the browser has not javascript enabled and offer a version without javascript, but in case of google bots, I offer them 'javascript disabled' version without asking (using the useragent).



Msg#: 4338657 posted 4:09 pm on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think this is "legal":


Question: Does this scheme open the door to cloaking?
Cloaking is serving different content to crawlers than to users in response to a given URL. This is generally done with the intent of boosting one's ranking in search results. Cloaking has always been (and will always be) an important issue for search engines, and it's important to note that making AJAX applications crawlable is by no means an invitation to make cloaking easier. For this reason, the HTML snapshot must contain the same content as the end user would see in a browser. If this is not the case, it may be considered cloaking. See our article on cloaking for more details.
Can I use this scheme to help with making my Flash or other rich media files more crawlable?
Although Google does index several types of rich media files, and although we are continuously working on improving our crawling and indexing capabilities, there are circumstances under which it may be appropriate to provide the crawler with content that is otherwise not visible to it. For example, the crawler may not see all the content of your Flash application. As this is a parallel situation to dynamic Ajax content not being visible to the crawler, you are free to use the scheme described here to provide the crawler with the additional content. However, you have to make sure that your site will not be suspected of cloaking. Again, the HTML snapshot must contain the same content as the end user would see in a browser, and Google reserves the right to exclude sites from its index that are considered cloaking.


WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 4338657 posted 7:00 pm on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

So, presentation changes for the same content are fine, and changing the content is not fine.

This falls under the former and is not a problem.

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