Google to Crack Down on Cloaking in 2011

Kevin Getch Written by
Kevin Getch
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Most of us are going to come up with some form of New Year’s resolution for January, 1 2011. While it might be a minor one on their agenda, Google has combating “cloaking” on their agenda for next year.

According to Google’s Matt Cutts, his company is going to concentrate more on combating the act of cloaking in the first quarter of 2011. Just going by the name, cloaking sounds like something devious, doesn’t it? For those of you who are not familiar with the practice, cloaking is a black hat search engine optimization (SEO) technique where the content that is presented to search engine spiders is different than what is presented to the user’s browser.

The technique is used by spammers to increase a website’s search ranking based on false information in order to get their site in front of people who would of never seen them based on their search practices. This is done by any number of types of websites, but you can imagine that it is most troubling when a pornography website uses the deceptive practice.

Since Google’s intent was delivered in 136 characters on Matt Cutts’ Twitter account, there aren’t many details as to what the company will be doing. But here is his exact Tweet:

“Google will more at cloaking in Q1 2011. Not just page content matters; avoid different headers/redirects to Googlebot instead of users.”

Cloakers run the risk of having their website delisted from Google altogether if they are caught. And it looks like 2011 will be a tougher year to take part in the devious act.

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