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Cloaking Forum

Just How hard it is to cloak.
The opinion of one who is still new at it.

 6:02 pm on Aug 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

Hi all,
I just wanted to inform all those out there who have recently posted on this forum about whether or not should they cloak.

Well, to start it off, when I started to cloak I thought it was going to be a lot easier to get ranked on all the SE's out there. I thought, "Well, now I can just make a page for each search engine and be happy that I'm giving them what they want. I don't have to use one page to satisfy all of them." That's true but I didnít know then how hard it was going to be to maintain the spider database. Also optimizing for the SEís and building my cloaking program to do exactly what I wanted. Itís been a lot of work. It has taken me a little over two months to get to the level I want to be at. The SEís are just beginning to rank me well in most of the keywords I wanted to be ranked on, but I still got a lot to go. My rankings have pretty much doubled. Iím very happy with the outcome. But it has taken a lot of work.

You also have to worry about optimizing your pages without spamming. At least thatís how I do it. But all in all, itís not easy to cloak. There is a lot of time involved in doing it. In fact I feel itís a little harder to cloak then to optimize for SEís normally. Iím not trying to discourage anyone who wants to cloak, but I just want you to know that itís not a picnic in the park. There is a lot to deal with. So if your going to do it, just remember that there is a lot of work involved and you constantly have to worry about whether or not youíre doing it right. For the longest time I didnít see my rankings go up. I thought I was going about it all wrong. But I stuck to it and now Iím seeing results. Thanks to these forums and the people here. So if you want to cloak, go for it and just remember to stick with it.

Also on a personal note, please try not to spam. Keep it clean, that way one day hopefully :) we can convince search engines that cloaking is not a bad thing.




 6:13 pm on Aug 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

>There is a lot to deal with.

That's exactly why I've stayed away. I'm a fair hand at setting something up, but LOUSY when it comes to addressing maintenance issues. Thanks for the hands-on report, circuitjump.


 6:21 pm on Aug 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

Well said circuitjump, good post.


 6:24 pm on Aug 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

Yeah - Good Post CJ

I have cloaked in the past, but it was a pain to 'keep it safe'.

Theming and Information pages work great for me now.

But if I ever crack an algo 100% - watch me run for the cloaking switch again :)


 6:42 pm on Aug 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

Is anybody worried about AV? Fast? Excite? Northern Light?

Cuts the maintenance down a fair piece right there.


 7:40 pm on Aug 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

I'm not exactly sure what you mean toolman. Can you explain what you mean?


 8:01 pm on Aug 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

Are you really worried about cloaking for AV, Fast etc.?

Why cloak for nothing? I am only worried about 2 engines. The rest can land where they will. But the 2 I do work at, I cloak.


 8:02 pm on Aug 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

circuitjump, are you the same gentleman that did the back-end for the [url deleted -rcj] site?

CJ, I've sent it in a stickymail -RCJ

(edited by: rcjordan at 8:13 pm (gmt) on Aug. 30, 2001)


 8:21 pm on Aug 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

Welcome to WmW, tylerdurden! I've sent your message to circuitjump via the internal mail system (see Stickymail at top of page). Many SEO pros do not want their sites known as their competitors and the SEs read here.


 8:31 pm on Aug 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

Well toolman,
I see what you mean. But AV, Excite, Lycos and a few others do give me a fair amount of traffic. I try maintain all of them. AV pretty much ranks between first and second on SE's that bring me traffic.
The ones that I really try to work on a lot is Google and Inktomi. :)


 8:46 pm on Aug 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

>I didnít know then how hard it was going to be
> to maintain the spider database.

It took me a few months of pulling out my hair to get my database where I need it, too. Now that the worst is over, and my db is pretty much up to date, I don't spend a 20th of the time I first did checking for new spider IP's. I have set this forum to email a notice of new posts so whenever a "heads up" comes in I usually know about it before the spider hits my site. The few times I did get caught with my guard down didn't make any difference at all. As a matter of fact, that may be a good idea for a sub-cat. Cloaking - Stealth/Heads Up! It's been a huge help.

In short, you're right. It's a lot of work. But once you're setup, I believe the benefits outweigh the initial investment by a long shot.

Toolman makes a good point. I spent a considerable amount of time working on AV only to find that after three months as King of the Hill I was only getting 3% traffic from them. I don't waste my time on them any more.


 11:22 pm on Aug 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

I know very little about cloaking - only the basics which I have read in these forums.

A (possibly dumb) question:

Assume the following:

1. Its only worth concentrating on two engines - presumably Google & Ink.

2. You have achieved a good position on one already using traditional techniques; lets say, Google, for the sake of the argument.

3. IP delivery is the best means of cloaking but also the most labour intensive.

Given that you are only trying to fool one search engine, Inktomi, could you get away with using the agent delivery technique - which I understand is easier to accomplish?

Its a stab in the dark, and I may be missing some points about the problems associated with agent delivery. Or maybe I have missed the point altogether ;)


 4:18 am on Aug 31, 2001 (gmt 0)

Stavs, the main concern with User Agent based cloaking is that there are a number of engines (Inktomi, and Google, among them) which do not always use the expected User Agent. This makes the probability of serving them the wrong page fairly high.

In addition, defeating UA based cloaking is fairly trivial, so your competitors could readily view your cloaked pages.


 3:25 pm on Aug 31, 2001 (gmt 0)

I find cloaking to be alot of fun. The initial setup and becoming comfortable with what you are doing is all part of the learning curve. At first, it does require alot of your available time but this can be said about any new project you decide to take on,(remember your first attempt at hand coding .html?). After the setup is complete and you really begin to understand exactly what you are doing, the workload drops,(By now you can almost hand code basic .html with you eyes closed).

There is some ongoing maintenance involved, but it does not consume as much time as you think, (I am not cloaking thousands of pages, that alone is a different story).

Back to building my "Flash" site that Google has said that I can cloak.


 4:35 pm on Aug 31, 2001 (gmt 0)

>>>Are you really worried about cloaking for AV, Fast etc.?

Forgive me for being dogmatic. I sound like Google and INK are the only players in town. Right now they aren't but in the near future they may be...that's where I'm coming from.

startup is right. There is a learning curve. Perhaps the hardest part is trying to optimize each page for so many different engines. Looking back, I would suggest using the same page for the se's as you do for the humans (built for Google) and then make minor tweaks from there. Concentrate on a couple instead of all the engines. Google and INK, for example :), won't let you down in the number of referrals and your time optimizing there is well spent.


 5:50 pm on Aug 31, 2001 (gmt 0)

I agree with you 100% :)

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