Le_Roi_Soleil - 5:35 pm on Jun 14, 2006 (gmt 0)
I installed a cloaking system on my domain about 3.5 years ago after realizing that my flash website and my dynamic store pages simply weren't going to get traffic. Over the years I have added many cloaked pages, totalling around 1,200 pages of content. It worked fairly well for a while until Yahoo! penalized my site 3 years ago and I have never had yahoo traffic since. Google's traffic continued and increased though so i didn't mind. Starting in March 06 with Google's Big Daddy update I noticed that strange things were happening to my cloaked pages. Slowly they were being indexed as broken in the index and then the cloaked page would be replaced by the actual page it was redirecting the human visitors to. That happened on all of the highest level pages, while the low PR pages with no links simply got pushed into the supplemental index. Now I see that all of my cloaked pages have a cache, even though I have had noarchive tags in place for two years. When i realized this was happening I added noindex/nofollow tags to many of the cloaked pages to pull them from the index but Google has ignored them. The worst thing is that my non-cloaked online store pages have also been pushed into supplemental status! now only the topmost pages of my site with links coming into them are regularly indexed and non-supplemental. My traffic has dropped by over 90% and my business is dead in the water for two months now. I think with big daddy we can safely say that cloaking no longer works. Seeing that Google doesn't respond to noindex tags, the only alternative is to just remove the cloaked pages completely and let them go 404. Does anyone know of a better way to handle the transition away from cloaking?