To Cloak or Not to Cloak

Cloaking means that you offer a version to normal site visitors and a different version to search engines.
It was mainly used to get a higher position on search engines. When a human visits a site, the pages which were designed for human visitors are shown. When a search engine visits the site, the pages which were optimized for that search engine are delivered.

The reason of doing this is that the page which was optimized for search engines may contains repeating keywords and content which do not need to be shown to human visitors. And a cloaked site can easily create a site structure easy for search engine to crawl.

Page cloaking can be implemented by some specialized cloaking scripts. To home make those scripts is very simple as well. You need to use server side script such as PHP or ASP. On that script page, you catch the value of use agent.

In ASP, the value is in request.ServerVariables(“HTTP_USER_AGENT”)

When a human visits the site, the User Agent contains the name of his/her browser, IE or Netscape, etc. When a search engine visits the site, the User Agent value contains a name specified by that search engine company. You need to prepare a list of User Agent Name search engines used.

When this value contains something like Googlebot, you know that this is a search engine whose name is Google. You then deliver the page which has been optimized for search engine. If a human (IE or Netscape) is requesting the page, you deliver the page which was designed for human
Now you understand a little about what is cloaking and how it is implemented. The question arises as to whether you should use cloaking or not? The short answer is “NO”.

1. Cloaking is against search engine’s terms of service. On Google’s home page, they ask web master to avoid using cloaking or doorway or hidden text. Google claim that they may remove entire site if it is founded out to be using cloaking. Ok, this is what Google want, probably, you do not care about terms of service or whatsoever, what you care is how many visitors go to your site from search engines. However, there is still a little risk of using cloaking.

2. Search engines may ban your site because of cloaking. Search engine can detect a cloaking site easily, they can send another spider without the identity of their company to visit the site, or they can send a human representative to check the site if your competitors report to them about your cloaking site.

3. Cloaking site takes time to maintenance as well. By the same amount of time, you can do something which can be really useful for your site and do not have the risk of being blocked or something

4. Every search engine is fighting with cloaking. Many people have created optimized page for some popular keywords and then used page cloaking to take people to a different site which has nothing to do with the keyword. If a search engine allows this to happen, their users would abandon it and go to another search engine which produce more relevant results.

However, if you go to the search engine optimization company, ask them for advice of your site, very often, they advice you to create a cloaked site.

Why is that??

1. This is a choice of business model. When they advice cloing, they will offer the service of pay per click as well. Pay per click means you need to pay out money continuously. That is how their profit comes from

2. Second, a good search engine positioning strategy is in fa site development. When you go to a search engine optimization company, you already have your site finished, you do not want to redesign your site special for search engine. If you do not want to touch your finished site, the only strategy left is using cloaking.

3. Cloaking still works a little now. Go to search on Google, you will find too many cloaked, doorway pages. And normally, cloaking is much cheaper than Google adwords or overture pay per click service.…

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Search engine promotion for Flash site

1.Problem with Flash site

There are too many companies asked me already, “We have a nice flash site, but do not have any position on search engine, what we can do for it?” My true answer is “if you want to do search engine marketing for your site, please give up your flash site and make a new html version”.

The good thing of Flash is that it can be great addition to your site. It looks great. Many people like it because it is cool and attract lots of attention. But that is all about.

The bad thing of Flash is that Search engine can not read into Flash code. Macromedia offer a SDK which enable search engines to index Flash format. Google claims that they can follow links inside Flash file. But to our experience, 100% flash sites don’t do well on search engine. Three months after submitting Flash sites to search engines; they are nowhere to be found expect the pay per click programs available from Overture and Google.

Flash takes longer to load as well. Many people will just go away instead of waiting 10-20 seconds for the site to load. Especially for those people who are still using dial up connection.

2.What can you do for flash site

If you believe that the current Flash demonstrates added value to your potential markets, you really like to keep that flash site, then I recommend that you create two versions of your site, one in Flash, one in plain html. Give visitors an option to choose which version they want. Search engine will index your html version correctly.

If you do not want to have two versions and still want to do a little search engine marketing for it. The other option available is to use noframe tag. Put your flash site into a frameset and present some content to search engines using noframes tag. Here is some information about frames from Google site.

“If you are concerned with the description of your site as seen by search engines, please read “Search Engines and Frames”. It describes the use of the ‘NoFrames’ tag, which is used to provide alternative content. If, instead of providing alternative content, you use wording such as “This site requires the use of frames” or “Upgrade your browser”, then you are excluding both search engines and people who use browsers with frames turned off.”

That clearly state the function of noframes tag is to provide alternative content.

Only put the content inside noframes tag isn’t all about. Many search engines ignore noframes tag. What should you do? Most of search engine do not index or understand JavaScript; you can put your noframes tag inside JavaScript, use document.write from JavaScript to write your frameset. Search engine can not judge whether it is a frameset or not when it is inside JavaScript.…

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Common Internet definition

Here is a glossary of commonly used terms in the world of search engine ranking

A meta tag is an element of HTML that often describes the contents of a Web page, and is placed near the beginning of the page’s source code. Many years ago, sSearch engines use information provided in a meta tags to index pages by subject.


A word that is entered into the search form or search “window” of an Internet search engine to search the Web for pages or sites about or including the keyword and information related to it.

doorway page

Web pages created specifically for search engine positions. Also known as gateway page or a bridge page. These pages normally contain various keywords for search engines


The process by which your site can display different pages under different circumstances. Primarily used to show optimized page to the search engines and a different page to humans. Some search engines will penalize a site if they discover that it is using cloaking.


Active Server Pages, Microsoft’s technology to enables HTML pages to be dynamic and interactive by embedding scripts, i.e. either VBScript or Jscript, Microsoft’s alternative of JavaScript. Since the scripts in ASP pages (suffix .asp) are processed by the server, any browser can work with ASP pages regardless of its support for the scripting language used therein


PHP (a recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is an open-source, server-side HTML embedded scripting language used to create dynamic Web pages. PHP is freely available and used primarily on Linux (UNIX) Web servers, and as an alternative to Microsoft’s Active Server Pages (ASP) technology.

As with ASP, the PHP script is embedded within a Web page along with its HTML. Before the page resolves, the Web server calls PHP to interpret and perform the operations called for in the PHP script. An HTML page with PHP script is typically given a file name suffix of “.php,” “.php4,” or “.phtml.”


ASP.Net or “dot net” is Microsoft’s next generation of the ASP language. It provides a complete environment for content management and sharing over the Internet.


Directories are compiled lists of sites, categorized and organized by topic. Each directory listing contains short, descriptive information about the site. Unlike spidering search engines (like Google), many directories are compiled by human editors who approve listings.

The human-involved process obtaining directories listings is far different than with obtaining listings in spider-built search indexes or paid search-advertising engines. In some cases, pay for inclusion is offered for expedited listings in directories such as Yahoo! And LookSmart.

The Open Directory Project, on the other hand, is meant to always be free. Strong directory listings are an excellent way your company can increase its link popularity and its Google PageRank. However, a poorly written listing that is submitted to Yahoo! (and subsequently edited or run with ineffective writing or keyword research) can negatively influence a search marketing campaign.


An HTML technique for combining two or more separate HTML documents within a single web browser screen. Compound interacting documents can be created to make a more effective web page presented in multiple windows or sub-windows. A framed web site often causes great problems for search engines, and may not be indexed correctly.

Search engines will often index only the part of a framed site within the < NOFRAMES > section, so make sure that the < NOFRAMES > section includes relevant text which can be indexed by the spiders. If your site uses frames, consider providing a gateway page or adding navigational links within the framed pages. Submit the main page – the one containing the < FRAMESET > tag to the search engines. If you use a gateway page, submit this separately.

Hidden text

Text that is visible to the search engines but is invisible to humans. Mainly accomplished by using text in the same color as the background color of the page. Primarily used for the purpose of including extra keywords in the page without distorting the aesthetics of the page. Most search engines penalize web sites which use such hidden text.


A scripting language from Netscape that is only marginally related to Java. Java and JavaScript are not the same thing. JavaScript was designed to resemble Java, which in turn looks a lot like C and C++. The difference is that Java was built as a general-purpose object language, while JavaScript is intended to provide a quicker and simpler language for enhancing Web pages and servers.

JavaScript is embedded as a small program in a web page that is interpreted and executed by the Web client. The scriptor controls the time and nature of the execution, and JavaScript functions can be called from within a Web document, often executed by mouse functions, buttons, or other actions from the user. JavaScript can be used to fully control Netscape and Microsoft Web browsers, including all the familiar browser attributes.

link popularity

The number of sites which link to a particular site. Most search engines use link popularity as a factor in determining the search engine ranking of a web site.…

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