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How To Detect Cloaking?

     
8:13 pm on Feb 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Does anyone know of an effective and simple way to spoof Googlebot and see if a page is cloaked?
8:18 pm on Feb 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Wonder if you could use Lynx, it lets you specify the user agent? I might be way off..
8:18 pm on Feb 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

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i suggest best would be to visit the site and see whats its content.
then have a look at the google-cache and compare if its the same.

thats what i would do first

8:22 pm on Feb 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Most cloakers are familiar with Google so while trying the Google cache might work, I check Gigablast's cache as well.
8:40 pm on Feb 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I believe many of the commercial cloaking applications track the cacheing engines and either automatically insert meta tags instructing SE's not to cache, or just show the surfer page to the bot.
12:34 am on Feb 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Try
www.seotoolkit.co.uk/http_viewer.asp

[edited by: heini at 10:41 am (utc) on Feb. 23, 2003]
[edit reason] delinked [/edit]

3:28 pm on Feb 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I find this page useful:

www.wannabrowser.com

Allows you to enter any UserAgent you want and also displays the HTTP Status codes. Very handy tool.

[edited by: heini at 10:42 am (utc) on Feb. 23, 2003]
[edit reason] delinked [/edit]

5:21 pm on Feb 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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volatilegx,

<I believe many of the commercial cloaking applications track the cacheing engines and either automatically insert meta tags instructing SE's not to cache, or just show the surfer page to the bot.>

If they just show the surfer page to the bot, then how would that be cloaking?

5:15 am on Feb 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Good point.

Spoofing the user agent may not work, because your IP will still give you away.

I would check the cache copy first. And if they have disabled cacheing without good reason, then that would be an indication that they may be up to no good.

Also check the "snippet" (description) for various searches in which they come up. Google pulls this text from portions of the page it thinks are "relevent" to that specific search, and this text will change depending on what search you do.

If you find a "snippet" on one of those searches where the same text does not appear when you view their page, you got 'em! :)

3:27 am on Feb 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

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If they just show the surfer page to the bot, then how would that be cloaking?

Well, they wouldn't be cloaking for that particular bot, but they might still be cloaking for others.