This is dumb cloaking, serves 'em right they got caught out - if you're working with IP delivery, simply don't feed cloaked pages to Babelfish spiders, i.e. exclude their IPs from the process, e.g. by commenting them out in your engine list (or by not putting them in there in the first place).
That trick is what, two years old? Surprising how many cloaked sites it can still work on. It worked on this mega site earlier this spring.
I hadn't seen this trick before but I knew that if I posted it hear I would get a reaction of fanto The solution to this problem was pretty obvious, I was just suprised that such high profile clients were involved. You would think that etoys would be a little more selective about who did their SEO.
seth: From what we have seen to date even on VERY major sites, the SEO situation is pathetic, to put it very mildly.
We lost all but one page of a client's site (no small player) on AV recently because the SEO people before us had stuffed it with machine generated doorway pages of the very worst kind, white text on white background, spamdexing, absolutely no content and a revisit-after meta tag set to 2 days. Not that the latter is of too much import, but it does boil down to asking for it. When we took over, I omitted to check out the existing doorway pages (they're still ranking pretty well on some engines) - not a mistake I'll care to make again.
In any case, major companies' overall SEO is really a salesman's job: most CEOs just won't be bothered with the gory technical details, and even if you get good to excellent results, more often than not you're well advised to let your salespeople sell those again to them because they neither understand the whole process from scratch nor to they want to. So it's a mix of ignorance, carelessness, overblown ego ("why can't you simply tweak those pages to put us in position #1 tomorrow?"), overworkedness and a general aversion to "all this search engine voodoo stuff" ...
I don't know if it is true, but I've heard that most search engines are going to use the IP address in place of the domain name to place sites. So those who spent a load of money to get a domain with keywords in the name, wasted their time? Tell me it isn't so?
this post is worth a new thread [webmasterworld.com] --rcj