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Google Cloaking and Keyword Loading On Pages
Breaking their own rules?
arrowman

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28470 posted 5:49 pm on Mar 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Funny story and discussion on Slashdot:
[slashdot.org...]

 

GoogleGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member googleguy us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28470 posted 6:00 pm on Mar 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

But you gotta admit, from the outside looking in, it's hard not to make a few jokes. Happily we know you've got a sense of humor! :-)

No worries, caveman; after 2500+ posts, my skin gets thicker with every passing year. Or maybe that's just my age setting in. :)

caveman

WebmasterWorld Senior Member caveman us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28470 posted 6:14 pm on Mar 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

> 2500+ posts

And not a fluffy one in the bunch!

> my skin gets thicker with every passing year. Or maybe that's just my age setting in. :)

Aw, you're lucky. Being thick skinned is useful. Sadly for me, it's the brain that seems to be getting thicker with age. :/

GoogleGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member googleguy us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28470 posted 6:26 pm on Mar 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I try to be mostly non-fluffy. What's really wild is that AWA is at 2300+ posts in about half the time. I need to find out what AWA's source of caffeine is. :)

flood6

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28470 posted 6:49 pm on Mar 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I need to find out what AWA's source of caffeine is. :)

He probably drinks a lot of Cloak, I mean, Coke.

ncw164x

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28470 posted 9:10 pm on Mar 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

The main person who could have answered questions was flying back to the U.S. on a plane

It took 3 days to get a response, Googleguy, where was this guy flying from?

NASA can get a man back from the moon in 4 days...

mrMister

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28470 posted 9:18 pm on Mar 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

NASA can get a man back from the moon in 4 days...

Ah, we all know that was filmed in a studio somewhere in Arizona.

And we all know the real mistake on Google's part was that the guy that goes round removing the cloaking evidence from Google's cache went on strike because his peanut butter demands weren't met. :-)

ncgimaker

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28470 posted 9:38 pm on Mar 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Is it just me that doesn't understand what the problem is?

Users search for "relaxation widgets for fans of the orient", and a web site sells "fluffy 'hello kitty' soft waddgets", unless the site also plants the keywords "can be used as relaxation widgets for fans of the orient" there is no way for a search engine to bridge that gap.

Imagine you relied on links alone to bridge that gap, a typical mid sized site may have 500 inbound links, and perhaps 2000 relevent phrases, so each inbound link would have to cover the 4 phrases which is implausible.

Here Google used 5 or 6 phrases to explain what this page was about, but they were all on topic and relevant. It made the title good for search engines and bad for users, so they delivered a simpler title to users. Good!

Doesn't it only become spam when they deliver *misleading* information and *misleading* titles to the search engine?

Surely its not whether they are trying to deceive the search engine, its whether they are trying to deceive the *searcher*!

caveman

WebmasterWorld Senior Member caveman us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28470 posted 9:40 pm on Mar 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Oy, wouldn't ya' know it. My son just filed a second reinclusion request. Looks like we'll have to start the clock all over again. Shame...he is such a quality child, not spammy at all.

Happily, I expect that we'll be able to get back to him in roughly 6-12 weeks, assuming his second request doesn't fall thru the cracks (there are a lot of cracks in our cave), and that he doesn't file any more of those pesky requests.

BigDave

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bigdave us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28470 posted 11:28 pm on Mar 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Does anyone know of any non-Google pages that were ever banned for such a minor case of cloaking?

While they may take excessive cloaking seriously, I have never seen any on-topic cloaking that was this lightweight get dinged.

Cloaking at this level is a bad thing, but just barely. If this is the sort of thing that is in most of the SPAM reports, then it doesn't surprise me at all that most of them see no action.

Namaste

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28470 posted 11:28 pm on Mar 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm not seeing this in the thread: benefits of tailoring keywords and other data to bots.

Whoever made that page, did it because they concieved a benefit. Very often I too like to put data for internal bots, but avoid it because it may do some search engine spider wrong.

In my company there are around 50 people working on pages. It's very hard sometimes to ensure that everybody is up with the latest "rules" dictaed by search engines. I've had to enforce strict version control processes to ensure that all pages meet these "rules". The process has a cost element of it's own.

I think it's time, search engines developed a mature system of flagging sites for cloacking and other misdemeanors.

msgraph

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28470 posted 4:24 am on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

Here Google used 5 or 6 phrases to explain what this page was about, but they were all on topic and relevant. It made the title good for search engines and bad for users, so they delivered a simpler title to users. Good!

Doesn't it only become spam when they deliver *misleading* information and *misleading* titles to the search engine?

In the real world, meaning what John Q views and cares about, YES. As long as the page offers relevant content to their search, who cares?

However, all of the major search engines, including Google, like people to think that the answer is NO. Google says in their webmaster guidelines that you should not think about search engines when designing your pages. That you should not cloak. That you should not add extra information for the benefit of improving your rankings.

Yet in this case, Google did just that. They modified their titles to influence their rankings, whether it was for their internal search or the search engine results displayed in Google proper.

Google is always making comments about how their technology is so great; that it doesn't need to depend on forced input to rank pages. That their algos can find the information without someone having to input meta data in order to figure out what the page is about. This proves that what they preach is fluff.

Those pages were primarily intended for the Google Search Appliances that do site search on individual help center pages

Hmmm let's look at Google's Search Appliance Page:

[google.com...]

Google Quality and Ranking
Find the highest quality and most relevant documents; Google factors in more than 100 variables for each query.

100 variables. So they need to stuff some keywords in the title to make those pages better because 100 variables can't figure out that the pages are relevant with out stuffing keywords in the title?

Using sophisticated software algorithms, Google has created a product that “just works.” Unlike other corporate search solutions, Google requires no labor-intensive tweaking or configuration. And Google’s unique document-ranking system provides the same high-quality search results to corporations that millions of Google users search with every day. Discovering information you didn’t know you had Google built its reputation on finding more and better information

Let's read that again folks :)

Google requires no labor-intensive tweaking or configuration

This mishap further shows me, besides their flawed search engine results, that Google's technology is not what they make it to be in their product specs.

jimbeetle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jimbeetle us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28470 posted 7:10 am on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

Wow! I've been folowing this thread since it started with the chuckle I thought it was do -- just a bit of embarrassment, let's get on to the next important thing.

msgraphs quotes from the Google Search Appliance pages made me rethink this. Google needs a much better response than has been given. Reading the GSA pages and reading GoogleGuy's explanation, well, they just don't jibe. (Yeah, as much as we'd like, GG can't always be an expert in everything Google, sometimes having to rely on other folks explanations.)

I'm not sure how many toes Google has left. Besides shooting themselves in the foot here and there in the past year with Adwords and Adsense flubs, they just can't seem to be able to handle the simplest embarrassment with any sort of elan.

So, what's really the story here? We don't trust our product enough the way we tell you (To pay money!) to use it, so we have to finagle it a bit to make it work the way it should?!

Great marketing. Simply embarrassing. Worth a chuckle.

Just Guessing

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28470 posted 8:48 am on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've had to enforce strict version control processes to ensure that all pages meet these "rules". The process has a cost element of it's own.

Very sensible - any company involved in IT that wishes to maintain its credibility should be doing this - except I would say don't blindly follow the SEs' rules, set your own rules that make sense for your site and your visitors.

Panacea



 
Msg#: 28470 posted 10:11 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

Googleguy,

>walkman, I'm happy to walk around and ask people about this more. Have you sent an email to webmaster at google.com with the keyword "canonicalpage"? That will help make sure that any reports about canonicalization (including redirects) get to the right engineers.<

When I have reported the Hijacking issue that has caused my websites to disappear from Google, all I get is the standard response that avoids the issue entirely. I know that my sites are partially indexed, it is because they have been hijacked:

“We searched for your site and found that it is currently included in our search results.

The Google index contains two types of pages: fully indexed and partially indexed pages. Your page is currently partially indexed. Because our robots were unable to completely review its content during our last crawl, your site appears without a cached copy or detailed title. Instead, it's listed by its URL.”

Googlguy,
What is Google's position on the Hijacking issue?

Thanks.

bears5122

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 28470 posted 4:10 am on Mar 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

What is Google's position on the Hijacking issue?

That it sure helps out Adwords revenue :-)

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