Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from

Forum Moderators: open

Message Too Old, No Replies

is cloaking and doorway pages the same

9:01 am on Nov 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Nov 11, 2005
votes: 0

as far as i know, cloaking is a form of spamdexing, and by the use cloaking, you are showing different content to the SEs and to the users....
doorway pages is also a form of spamdexing, and i think it is similar with cloaking...
can someone explain the difference further...

replies are very much appreciated. thanks!

12:51 pm on Nov 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Nov 18, 2002
votes: 0

I will argue that doorway pages are a technique to get better search engine rankings, while cloaking is a technology that has many uses, one of which is go get better rankings.

The original doorway page technique was to create a page that would be attractive to search engines and cause good rankings, but that wouldn't be a page that users would find useful. As a result, the user would have to 'move through the doorway' by clicking on a link to get them to the actual content that the site owner wanted them to see. Early doorway pages were noticible by having a large type link at the top saying something like "Click Here For Information On Blue Widgets".

This wasn't cloaking, since the user could see the same content that the search engines could. From a webmaster's perspective though, it wasn't as effective, because the user had to take an extra step beyond clicking on the SERPS to get to the page the webmaster wanted the user to see.

(Webmasters later used various technologies to (cough) simplify the process of users getting to the desired page, mostly involving some sort of Javascript redirect).

One of those technologies would be cloaking, which you correctly identified as showing one set of content to the search engines, and another to users. Using cloaking, webmasters could remove the extra step of requiring the user to do something in order to see the target page.

On the other hand, cloaking can also be used in applications where doorway pages aren't involved. For example, Yahoo uses cloaking to show pure links to search engines in its directory, while showing tracking links to human visitors. In this case, there's no doorway page involved.

I hope this helps you understand the difference between the two.

4:24 am on Nov 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 22, 2001
votes: 0

Most spamdexing cloakers use doorway pages in their technique. The optimized version of a page shown to the search engine is a "doorway page", in the sense that it is a page specially designed to get good rankings on the search engine. However, it is not like a traditional doorway page because it does not require an additional click by the viewer or any type of redirection to send the viewer to the "destination page". Typically, this is done by a form of proxy, where the cloaking software uses LWP or Curl to load the destination page and then it serves the HTML of the destination page under the URL of the cloaked page.

Here's a link to a more comprehensive description of this type of cloaking: SEO Cloaking Primer [webmasterworld.com]