I first heard of cloaking as a technique to fool search engines and so would be very fearful of employing it on my website. But I wonder if it could be used ,say, to provide a different content to visitors from diferent countries.You see ,I would prefer to have business with a particular foreign country rather than another or even with a foreign country rather than my own. So is this possible? And if it is ,is it to run the risk of being banned by the search engines? I have zero programing skills and no access to the server that hosts my website so perhaps I am disqualified from the outset thanks in advance PS Am I on the correct forum even?
is it to run the risk of being banned by the search engines?
The risk is very small if you are doing what you suggest - as Google themselves do exactly this. I'm in Canada, and when I type google.com I get redirected to google.ca and have a different page from the US version with a choice of English and French. Having said that...
I have zero programing skills and no access to the server that hosts my website so perhaps I am disqualified from the outset
Yes, this means that you are currently disqualified - but that can change as you can change servers and learn the techniques. :) The basic idea is to deliver different content dependent on the user's IP address range - but this takes server-side scripting as well as a database of IP address ranges and their geographical locations.
as encyclo explained it is a common practice. The term for it would be geo-targetting. If you do decide to get down and dirty with this there are a ton of ip databases around and the programming of it is very straight forward.
to answer kokaroach
those of us in Canada have a nice link to 'go to google.com' we don't have to do anything but click and that sets it forever ;)
hmmm, been a while since I looked that link isn't there anymore, oh well, if I type in google.com it goes to google.com, not .ca ;)
I am looking for an answer on this - except not geo targeting - site targeting. So I am trying to have a page for visitors that come from xyz.com and a different message for visitors from abc.com or even another page (if poss) abc.com/sendingpage.asp. All links come in to the homepage (I have no control over that) but I want to redirect them if they come.