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Cloaking for AdSense

Is it sensible?



2:38 am on Nov 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I run a forum site with a number of private forums. However, I wanted the AdSense GoogleBot to see these, and asked Google two questions via e-mail: how can I spot the AdSense Googlebot coming in, and is it acceptable to allow the AdSense Googlebot to be automatically logged in, so that it can inspect the page content? Google duly replied with all the information I needed to spot the Googlebot, which is handy, and AdSenseGooglebot now has its own username in my forums, and member access. This is all done with the blessing of Google, and has ensured that Google's ads are now miles more relevant.

So, it strikes me that removing the main site header and footer for the AdSenseGooglebot makes sense too: this then ensures that it does't get confused by irrelevant text. I'm not altering the content at all, except removing redundant text to make the Googlebot's life rather easier - this way, for example, it won't come up with ads for phpBB in my (phpBB-powered) forums only because phpBB is mentioned in the footer.

While of course this can be misused, and it's not my intention to do so, is this idea a good thought?


12:13 am on Nov 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Amazed that Google permit that, but oh well. I guess they take things on a case-by-case basis.

Myself, I would prefer NOT to have my private forums have any "loophole" that could be abused...

Anyhow, in response to your question. Yes, I have noticed the same as you, with header & footer (especially metatags). However I have chosen not to remove them, in part for the following reasons:

- Rather than displaying no ads (showing PSAs or alternate ads) on pages which do not have much content, I get a "default" ad set that's based off my keywords. I also get this default ad set once mediabot has visited the page for the first time - usually it makes more relevant ads available soon afterward.

- I can't see it sitting well with Google.. if they wanted to ignore keywords etc, they will modify mediabot accordingly. Even if your intentions were honourable, it really is something they're well aware of, a nd choosing to use as a "guide" to the intended content of a page. So make your keywords relevant.

- I believe that both keyword changes on my site, a revisit by mediabot, and perhaps a mediabot upgrade (don't know for sure) resulted in what is now only the occasional phpbb/forum based ad (usually attributable to the keyword "forums" rather than phpbb at the bottom of the page) :-)

By all means contact Google to see about this, but I think their answer is likely to be no. They're pretty reasonable, but I think they'd prefer to just be served the same page as users as much as possible..


12:03 am on Dec 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

- further, it seems that removing the header didn't help the Googlebot at all - even to the point of removing some of the content-relative ads. Interesting; Google looks as if it really likes the first few words of the page.


3:45 am on Dec 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Wouldn't be surprised, especially if you were using meta tags and meta description.

The general consensus seems to be that Google really do prefer you not to tinker with your pages at all to "optimise" for mediabot.. which I can certainly understand. It could really affect the quality of the content matching.


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