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Banner Ads considered cloaking?
tkeating




msg:679268
 5:53 pm on Sep 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

I was banned at one time by Yahoo, but was able to get back into their SERPs after pulling some strings.

Yahoo never told us exactly what we were doing wrong, but as far as we knew, we weren't doing anything illegal on our website.

However, I was a bit uncomfortable not knowing why we were blocked, so I did some more checking. i used an online/web-based cloak checker and it says our site "could be cloaking" since the page sizes differed between a browser agent and a simulated googlebot agent.

I compared the two web pages the online utility displays and the only difference I see is the banner ads - which obviously differ in size. We use a randomizing function which will display a different banner each visit - hence the different file size.

This is probably why some Yahoo auto-mechanism banned us, but i am not sure. My question is, "Are random banner ads considered cloaking and if so, how do I get it so my pages are exactly the same size?" It doesn't seem logical since many sites use random banner ads.

So maybe I shouldn't worry about the different filesizes?

thoughts?

 

volatilegx




msg:679269
 6:08 pm on Sep 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Are random banner ads considered cloaking and if so, how do I get it so my pages are exactly the same size?" It doesn't seem logical since many sites use random banner ads.

Random banner cannot be considered cloaking by any reasonable person. I highly doubt this could be the cause of banning.

tkeating




msg:679270
 6:50 pm on Sep 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thanks. That's what I thought.

I compared the two HTML files themselves (without regard to the size of the images) and the file size is different by 12 bytes. This is most likely the difference in the length of the ALT tag text for the random banner ads.

Do Yahoo or other SEs look at the HTML file size and if not EXACTLY equal block you? I'd assume they'd only block you if the different was more like 50-100 bytes or more, but I have no idea.

Also, session IDs are allowed, right? (my webmaster is using ASPx/.NET session IDs I believe). I heard somewhere that they are bad and can cause banning since duplicate content can be created. We don't have shopping carts - just tracking each individual visit from what I heard, so I don't think this applies to us.

volatilegx




msg:679271
 8:39 pm on Sep 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

It's not that session ID's cause banning... sometimes the URLs they use can't be followed by spiders.

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