The Seven Deadly Sins of SEO: #2 “Cloaking”

All the major search engines compete to make their search results as relevant, up to date and informative as possible. For a search engine to be considered effective, and therefore gain users, it relies on its reputation for providing the right information for any given search term.

They’re right for assuming this. Imagine you were looking for some tips on how to clean your windows, and you used a search engine you’re unfamiliar with. If you visited a site through this new search engine, and it brought you to a website on adult porn – you wouldn’t be too happy, would you? In fact, you’d probably dismiss the search engine as useless, and wouldn’t bother to use it again.

That’s why search engines take an issue known as ‘cloaking’ so very seriously. If their livelihoods depend on the search results being accurate and informative, search engines have a duty to their own business ethics – as well as their customers – to frown upon cloaking, and they do. Do it, and your website will be removed from search results and most likely blacklisted.

So what is cloaking? Cloaking is the practice of writing a piece of programming that means human visitors to your website see something very different from what a search engine bot crawling your website sees. If you cloak effectively, you could indeed disguise your adult site as something as harmless as cleaning windows – and you’d benefit from a good SEO ranking. You’d also, unfortunately, ruin the search engine results – and they can’t be having that. When it comes to cloaking, avoid.

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