You guys are really stupid, sorry. It's a bug in google, I experienced it myself because I linked sites with a Location:.. redirect too. It has nothing to do with the webmaster doing any cloaking.
I am beginning to agree with this too. Not the stupid part. However, I believe there might be other factors involved. I can't seem to put my finger on it. So far on the sites I have found that are exhibiting the cache and backlinks problem seem to be random.
As some have said it *can* be innocent... i think that is also right sometimes though the flaw is also being manipulated in black hat seo i believe having traced ip's back to various seo and marketing folks.
I agree with this too. It can be innocent, especially if it is a bug. But this is what I am trying to find out in my case. I don't want to flame a site that is innocent. So how do you find out? I have had some check and have gotten differing views no this.
I even found s cloak checker on the web, but it seemed cheesy and did not show what it found. It just basically said "yes" or "no" on the cloaking. It's hard to put any faith in that.
It could just be me, since we've been doing a lot of moving, but has anyone else noticed if the specific pages apparently being "hijacked" are ones they've recently redirected themselves or made major changes to (like title or major keywords)?
Now, I find this extremely interesting because of 2 points here. Yes, I changed the title of my homepage about 2 and a half months ago from "Name of Site - Dedicated to Location Widget" to Location Widget at Name of Site" Could there be a correlation here!
Also, I renamed some of the filenemes on the site. I added 301s to all the renamed files as per other threads and advice. I thought nothing of this at the time. I knew it would take a while for the SERPs to straighten out. BUT, I posted in other threads of a problem I thought I was having with googlebot and the 301s. It appeared that the problem was two-fold. First, every time googlebot started a deep crawl, it would get to one of these redirects and then just stop. No more crawling of any other pages. It would then repeat the process the next day, crawl until it hit a 301, then stop. Next problem was that googlebot, in random fashion, would keep coming back and try to crawl the 301s. Just the 301s and nothing else. It was as if googlebot was having problems with the redirect. I checked the redirects with a header checker and it showed the 301 was being directed correctly, just googlebot couldn't seem to follow them.
If this is related in some way as to why this offending site has replaced my link in the SERPs and shows the exact same backlinks and a cache snapshot of my homepage, I am at a total loss. I would just like to get this mess straightened out.
I stuck a couple test pages up tonight to see how Google reacts to a 301, a 302, and a meta refresh. These are on an old and stable site. A header check on the page with the meta refresh returns a 302 response.
Thanks DaveAtIFG. This is going to be interesting and maybe we can get to the bottom of this.