- The hiding of page content. Normally carried out to stop page thieves stealing optimized pages. See also Bait-and-Switch.
I-Search Digest - Cite This Source - This Definition
Displaying different content to search engines and searchers. Depending on the intent of the display discrepancy and the strength of the brand of the person / company cloaking it may be considered reasonable or it may get a site banned from a search engine.
Cloaking has many legitimate uses which are within search guidelines. For example, changing user experience based on location is common on many popular websites.
- The Definitive Guide to Cloaking - Dan Kramer's guide to cloaking. I also interviewed Dan here.
- KloakIt - cheaply priced cloaking software
- Fantomaster - more expensive cloaking software
SEO Book - Cite This Source - This Definition
- serving different content to search engine spiders than to human visitors. Cloaking is basically a "bait and switch" tactic, where the web server feeds visiting spiders content that is keyword-rich, thus fooling the search engine into placing that page higher in the search results. Yet when the visitor clicks on the link they are given different content, which may be totally unrelated. Search engines frown upon this practice and some will penalize or ban sites that they catch doing it.
SEO Glossary.com - Cite This Source - This Definition
- Bait-and-Switch, cache, De-listing, Hijacking of Websites, image map, Invisible Web, Pull-down list
All > Technology > Search > SEO / Search Marketing