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Is cloaking for this purpose ok?



3:33 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Many pages on Our web site have 2 versions. One for IE6.0+ and one for all other browsers.

To make the pages more search engine friendly we are thinking of not using javacsript for the 2 versions but instead use cloaking for this.

We wonder if we are taking a risk with this regarding search engines. Will they consider this as spam or are they intelligent enough to see that this is no attempt to foul search engines? The contents in terms of text of both versions is exactly the same.


[edited by: heini at 3:38 pm (utc) on Oct. 25, 2003]
[edit reason] Please don't post urls / thank you! [/edit]


3:40 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member nick_w is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Welcome to WebmasterWorld!

What will you cloak? - Do you mean only show one version of the page to bots?



3:54 pm on Oct 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Oops, sorry, didn't know I couldn't include urls for an example!

Our main design is based on the css "display" property. It is an easy way to recreate a tab based menu system for web sites.

Let's say you have 5 tabs. This means you have a table with 5 rows. Each row has the contents of one of the 5 menu items. You will only see one row as the other 4 are invisible using the display property. You can use the tab menu to make another table row visible and the curent invisible. This part uses javascript.

Unfortunately the display property is only available for IE6.0+.

We use cloaking to check the browser of the user and load the tab based html version for IE6.0+ and the standard version without the menu and where everything is visible for all other browsers. The text contents are similar.

We just don't know if search engines can see we use cloaking and if we will be penalized by that solely for that reason or that they will be able to see what we are doing and that it has nothing to do with spam.



9:56 pm on Nov 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I wouldn't do it, because normally SEs say that the bots should see/get the same as users. If you modify your site that it displays well in IE 6 and other browsers it would be better. I don't think that bots can determine that almost the same content/layout is displayed.

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