cloak like you would for anyone else and include the infamous NOARCHIVE tag on the page you're serving to Google.
If you are cloaking because your content is dynamic, is the tag really needed?
If you are cloaking for design, doesn't the tag give it away?
>doesn't the tag give it away?
Not really, because many sites with dynamic content and no cloaking will also use the noarchive tag to avoid having stale content captured.
Personally I haven't experienced much difference with or without the tag, so most often choose to prevent Google from caching.
I am new to this Cloaking idea, and I just have a question. How could Google detect a cloaked page if it had something like:
if(preg_match("/MSIE/i",$HTTP_USER_AGENT)) header("Location: www.widgets.com");
So the code would detect if the user had an IE browser, and if so, forward them to another URL. Could Google detect this, and if so, they would penalize the site correct?
(edited by: jrap at 4:05 am (utc) on May 26, 2002)
>Could Google detect this, and if so, they would penalize the site correct?
Using redirection is not a good idea, most likely it will be penalized or it will be handled badly (i.e. wrong page indexed).
True cloaking does not return any redirect code(that's how search engines detect redirects), it simply delivers the page to the requesting entity, usually by server side code.
The short code snippet I posted is in PHP (..should have specified, sorry) which is server side. Basically that code would be executed before any other headers are sent out.
Yes I spotted the PHP, but "header("Location: www.widgets.com"); " sets the redirect code, that's what I was cautioning against.
Air, ah, I see. Thanks for the response thus far.
How would google notice the redirect if the code only executes if the browser is IE?
>How would google notice the redirect if the code only executes if the browser is IE?
The people that get redirected will tell them ... especially if you outrank them.
>>The people that get redirected will tell them
Bingo. The people that are getting busted cloaking are getting turned in by their competitors. Competitive markets ensure it.
Cloaking needs to be imperceptible to the engines, AND human viewers.
If I already redirect to a subfolder on the server side, should I have the cloaked page in the same folder so that there is no folder difference?
thats what a viewer would see.
now if it was a spider
it would redir to
There is a thread here [webmasterworld.com] that goes into a fair bit of detail on how server side cloaking without redirection retrieves and serves content.