What is cloaking in SEO

Cloaking is a method in SEO that represents different content to human’s and spider bot’s. Cloaking is used by webmaster’s and SEO specialist to fool search engine’s algorithms and programmes to rank higher for desired keywords.This method is now a part of black hat SEO.

Cloaking is used to manipulate search engine’s. When a user will search for a related keyword, search engine’s will show links and description in search results. The User will click on a link on the basis of title and description, but the actual content on the webpage will be different from the content presented to search engine’s. This is known as “cloaking”.

NOW, search engine’s have changed their algorithm’s to fight against cloaking. Search engine’s like google, yahoo, MSN, Bing etc started banning sites use this method.

Cloaking can be done by various methods. Common methods used in cloaking are: –

A) Iframe tag: – With the help of Iframe tag, we can add a web page inside another web page.
This is the most common method used in cloaking.

Html code: –

B)User-agent cloaking: – User agent cloaking is a method of delivering different web version on the basis of user-agent. Bot’s and human’s both have different views.

c)Javascript cloaking: – Browser having javascript enabled and browser’s having javascript disabled, will have two different views based on their javascript preference.

d)Ip-address cloaking: – Cloaking can also be based on IP-address. There are five IP-classes. Based on the IP-address of bot’s, spider’s and system’s, a webmaster can present different versions of a single website.

e)HTTP_referrer header cloaking: – HTTP stands for hyper text transfer protocol. HTTP_REFERRER is used in server-side scripting to analyse the source from where the user is redirected to our website. On the basis of http_referrer header, we can show different version’s of our website to user’s coming from different sources.

f)Cloaking based on language: – Cloaking can be used to show different versions of the website based on language. Suppose a user visit to a website from google.ru, then the Russian version of that website will present in front of the user.

These are some most common cloaking techniques used. First read search engine’s guidelines then use cloaking. It’s my humble request try to avoid cloaking and be search engine friendly.