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Cloaking Forum

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Cloaking for ranking: is it still worth the effort?
Tips
Blue Gravity




msg:676907
 4:05 pm on May 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

As Nick pointed out in another thread - [webmasterworld.com...] , if you're a cloaker, you will most probably (95% sure) get caught, reported, banned, whatever. The real question is, is it worth the effort? Since people don't like to share their secrets, here are some tips that newbie cloakers can play around with, since they are general knowledge with a few edgy tips and tricks.

Let's take into consideration, to properly cloak what you would need to do so:

1. At least 100 URL's to play around with - Keep in mind that it's better to use dummy URL's because you don't want your mother URL banned or reported.

2. Multiple IP's - I don't use more than 3-5 domains per IP. IP's are cheap, don't pack all of your domains on one IP, otherwise you'll get caught a lot faster than you think.

3. Don't submit directly to Google - I've found that when I dont submit directly into Google, true it may take a bit more time than usual to get indexed properly, but the sites almost never get banned. They'll just be removed from the index from that month, which means you can just list them in a different engine again, without worrying about the blacklist. I think the reason for this is because it is not directly submitted to Google, so you don't exactly have to follow their guidelines, therefor cannot be penalized for it.

4. Put keywords and paragraphs of your cloaked pages inside the index of the main cloaked URL to fool competitors into thinking there is no cloaked pages but just a keyword and content saturated website. They'll probably try and out-do you for a few months before they catch on. But thats well worth the time.

End results:

I've been successfully cloaking pages since 1997-98'ish. I've had loads of URL's banned by jealous or pissed off competitors, but I'm still doing it, because even though it's tough at times, it's WELL worth it. As long as you don't get greedy with the keywords, you'll stay under the radar for a while longer than normal. Depending on the industry you are cloaking for, you will make a lot of money if done properly. Sites of mine that were made years ago, are still on top spots, and still making a lot of money.

Goodluck.

[edited by: Blue_Gravity at 4:42 pm (utc) on May 5, 2003]

 

Nick_W




msg:676908
 4:13 pm on May 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Nice Post!


At least 100 URL's to play around with - Keep in mind that it's better to use dummy URL's because you don't want your mother URL banned or reported.

Can you exlain that? - I just don't get what you mean...

Thanks

Nick

Blue Gravity




msg:676909
 4:21 pm on May 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Nick-

100 URL's to play with means someone should have an arsenal of at least 100 URL's for the keywords they are targeting. When one goes down, you still have 99 more in the index.

Dummy URL's are referring to creating cloaked only URL's that point to your main URL.

Nick_W




msg:676910
 4:23 pm on May 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

So you mean 100 domains?

Nick

Blue Gravity




msg:676911
 4:31 pm on May 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes, URL's & Domains are the same to me ;]

ScottM




msg:676912
 4:36 pm on May 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Now I'M confused:

I don't use more than 3-5 domains per URL

and

Yes, URL's & Domains are the same to me

So, taking those 2 together yields:

"I don't use more than 3-5 domains per domain"

Could you elaborate on my obvious misunderstanding?

Blue Gravity




msg:676913
 4:42 pm on May 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ahh I'm sorry, that was a typo. Its:

"I don't use more than 3-5 URL's/Domains per IP"

I'll change it.

Nick_W




msg:676914
 4:46 pm on May 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Let me sum up what I think you're saying:

You have a target set of KW's for 'blue widgets'.

You set up one main site that sells blue widgets and do nothing dodgy on it.

You then set up 99 'garbage sites' - Sites with no real content, possibly just auto generated nonsense.

These 99 sites link to your main site for good KW's.

That what you're saying?

Nick

Blue Gravity




msg:676915
 5:01 pm on May 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Nick,

Pretty much, but I wouldn't list them as pure garbage sites, because they all have SOME content on them, they aren't pure spammy crap. They can definitely be categorized as regular sites if you removed the cloaking tools.

Nick_W




msg:676916
 5:06 pm on May 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>cloaking tools

Care to expand on that?

Whether you do or not, thanks for a facinating thread ;-)

Nick

Blue Gravity




msg:676917
 5:24 pm on May 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Cloaking tools = scripts, methods, approaches, tactics.

People who just use scripts and artificial page generating are bound to get banned or caught much quicker than someone who uses specific tactics for specific engines, different keyword approaches, custom methods and scripts, and less greed for particular keywords, do those, and you will have your domains on the engines for many many months to come.

Blue Gravity




msg:676918
 5:27 pm on May 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Not to sound like a complainer or anything, but if someone else can put up their own tips, maybe we can sum up cloaking as a whole, tips, tricks, do's and dont's without actually revealing your secrets in one thread, than have many many threads to sift through. I just think it would help out the people thinking about cloaking, and perhaps, clean up the cloaking aspect of SEO little by little.

Nick_W




msg:676919
 5:30 pm on May 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

I agree, unfortunately I have nothing to share. I think you'll find that your willingness to share knowledge will not be reciprocated. It's a paranoid area by definition.

Saying that though, you never know what may happen and I'd love to hear some other experiences...

Nick

Blue Gravity




msg:676920
 5:32 pm on May 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yeah you're probably right. Perhaps I'll release new tips and tricks every month or so, to keep everyone in check.

NFFC




msg:676921
 5:36 pm on May 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Lets not forget this:

[webmasterworld.com...]

johnser




msg:676922
 5:54 pm on May 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Cool thread....

If I get a new client, I often get a kw-kw.com domain on a unique IP and setup about 100 manually optimised cloaked pages (with manually inserted filler text) for the top 100 keywords in that area based on what Overture/Wordtracker/Adwords are saying.

Every cloaked page is only targeted at that 1 phrase which is highly relevant to the client's actual product/service.

Theres no X-linking between cloaked sites which are each on a unique IP.

The "real" pages often lie on top of the cloaked pages and if someone clicks a cloaked page ranking high in Google they usually get taken through to the client's home page either on the kw-kw.com domain or they are redirected to the main domain using a combination of meta refresh & js redirect. I don't use frames cos I find them too much hassle.

I also use a js "cache-buster" so if "cache" appears in the address bar (as on G), the user is taken to the correct page. I don't use <noarchive>

The 100 cloaked pages are split into 3 categories: Primary KWs, secondary & other. The linking on the cloaked pages is arranged to maximise the PR of the top 6 KWs.

I also build 3rd party links to the cloaked site.

Blue_Gravity
Have you ever had sites banned that you didn't submit to Google? Is a manual editor seriously likely to x-check the database of submitted URLs if they're looking at a spam report? Also - Can you elaborate on your 4th point? Not sure I'm with you?

<edit>Last sentence added</edit>

digitalghost




msg:676923
 5:58 pm on May 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

1. Don't Use Automated Page Generators
2. Don't neglect your cloaked pages, change them a bit now and then.
3. Don't create a 50k page for viewers and a 3k cloaked page. ;)
4. Don't use an out of the box solution as is. Change directory and file names.
5. Don't burn 100 domains on one target domain. Spread them around a bit.

1. Do use the nocache tag for Google and don't forget about Gigablast's cache feature.
2. Do spend the time necessary to create cloaked pages that resemble real pages.
3. Do create a "clean" version of the site on a clean domain and have it ready.
4. Do create a noindex, nofollow site for Google and target other SEs with it.
5. Do remember to create outbound links on your cloaked pages to sites that aren't in your shadow neighborhood.

Expect to get caught now and then and prepare for it. Once a domain is burned remove all references for that domain from all your sites and do it quickly. Switch hosts occasionally. Toss in a few free host sites. Let a few sites die natural deaths.

Change your links around. Remove a few, add a few. Create a few off-topic sites and link them to your target. Don't get carried away with perfect anchor text. Use Kartoo now and then to see what your neighborhood looks like. ;)

stevegpan2




msg:676924
 6:25 pm on May 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Obviously I am a newbie. I never used cloak as I even ask this question:

what is cloak?
Could you masters explain a little bit?
Thanks much for your time .....

Quinn




msg:676925
 6:42 pm on May 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

<echo>

Lets not forget this:
[webmasterworld.com...]
</echo>

stevegpan2




msg:676926
 6:54 pm on May 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks Quinn.... and Air!

Blue Gravity




msg:676927
 7:04 pm on May 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

DigitalGhost,
Awesome post! You definitely filled in a lot of the gaps that I forgot.

digitalghost




msg:676928
 7:10 pm on May 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

I use Kartoo [kartoo.com] to get a visual picture of link partners and strive to make sure that the neighborhood looks "natural".

If you compare your carefully crafted cloaked sites to other "natural" sites you can sometimes spot glaring differences in link patterns. If your links don't appear natural it is well worth spending the time fixing the problem.

Blue Gravity




msg:676929
 7:14 pm on May 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

DigitalGhost,

Thanks for showing me Kartoo. I was using similar java type sites, but the flash stuff just makes it easier and more informative.

guynouk




msg:676930
 9:21 pm on May 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi all,
In my opinion, for what it's worth, there's no need at all to cloak to get good rankings. Having said that we manage over 200 sites and successfully cloak them all.
Brett Tabke's 12 month plan is all you need, but if you've read it you'll realise it takes hard work and effort to make a single website successful. More than a few websites? Cloak, but be careful, it has to be done correctly, if not u could lose everything.

Blue Gravity




msg:676931
 10:22 pm on May 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

guynouk,

Aren't you contradicting yourself when you said this:

"In my opinion, for what it's worth, there's no need at all to cloak to get good rankings. Having said that we manage over 200 sites and successfully cloak them all."

Then why do you cloak?

guynouk




msg:676932
 11:19 pm on May 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Blue Gravity,
Aren't you contradicting yourself when you said this.

I also said - more than a few websites then cloak. We have over 200 - we couldn't possibly manage them all each month using Brett's 12 month guide without some form of automation or cloaking. One or 2 websites u don't need to cloak, any more you'll find yourself looking for shortcuts, and like I said you've got to be careful.

MrSpeed




msg:676933
 12:26 am on May 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think you'll find that your willingness to share knowledge will not be reciprocated. It's a paranoid area by definition.

I find it's that way at the affiliate board too. Too bad since there is plenty to go around for everyone. I may not be working the same niche as the next guy. And what I lack in one area I may excel in another. To paraphrase a stupid corporate slogan..
TEAM - Together Everyone Achieves More

1. Do use the nocache tag for Google and don't forget about Gigablast's cache feature.

Some people claim that throws up a red flag.

digitalghost




msg:676934
 12:30 am on May 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>Some people claim that throws up a red flag.

That rumor was certainly prevalent a year ago but I have seen absolutely no evidence to support it. There are valid reasons for not allowing Google to cache your pages.

What I know for certain is that if you don't use the nocache tag you better make sure your pages are so similar that no one can tell the difference. ;)

Blue Gravity




msg:676935
 4:07 am on May 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't think it throws any "red flag". I've actually asked people about this today, and all agreed with me, that it does nothing of the sort, and was probably just a rumor started to scare people into not using it so they can see eachother SEO methods. I use it, and I think everyone who cloaks should use it too. It's there for a reason.

johnser




msg:676936
 9:50 am on May 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Anyone spot the post from Googleguy approx 4/5 months ago (on this forum I think) saying that they'd looked at a cross-section of sites using the nocache/noarchive tag and 95% were cloaking?

That taken in combination with the chat WebGuerrila(?) had with Matt at pubcon last week which was along the lines that they're looking to implement a semi-automtated system to check spam reports & using <nocache> might not be so smart?

A competitor would easily spot the abscence of cache and then report you for spam & this reports would be automatically scanned.

In addition, couldn't any new system as suggested also be applied to every site that uses <nocache> & then automatically compared with results through a browser?

If someone can explain to me why its hard for Google to spot UA & IP cloakers using nocache, I'd love to know.

I'm just a bit worried about implementing it with all I've read to date. Any thoughts?

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