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Referrer Based Cloaking?

     
10:15 pm on Jan 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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hi,

i get a lot of visitors to a newsarchive page of my domain by google. the problem is, that they are not really finding the information on this page they are searching for.

my idea was now to redirect the users comming to the archive page from google by the referrer google.com/search to the relevant content page.
but... i would like to keep out techniques, which get me intro troubles or penalized by google.

my question is now. is this approach secure or can i get into troubles?

2:52 pm on Jan 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I do some referrer based cloaking for special circumstances similar to yours and have never seen a penalty from it.

However, Google states that they will penalize pages they discover are cloaked.

You would be safer simply including a link at the top of the page that would pull the search terms in the referrer to link to the page of your choice. If no referrer header exists, then the link wouldn't appear. This could be done using a server side include or PHP.

1:37 pm on Jan 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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thx volatilegx
4:13 pm on Jan 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I do something very similar to that. Based on the keywords I extract from the referrer, I determine what the most relevant page on the site is and I assign a confidence rating. If the confidence rating is moderate, I put a prominent, special link in the header of the page ("Click here for Green Widgets"). If the confidence rating is very high, I just redirect to the page.

It helps provide a better customer experience, so I don't see why any search engine would have a problem with it.

5:03 pm on Jan 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Many sites I have seen do this, they usually send the visitor to the search page using the query they entered into Google.