Google On Cloaking & IP Delivery

Apr 21, 2006 • 2:06 pm | comments (1) by | Filed Under Search Engine Cloaking / IP Delivery

Matt Cutts and Google have always had a strong stance of any form of cloaking, for as long as I have been covering the search industry. While I was away, Matt Cutts posted a comment at his blog where he provided the "short answer from Google’s perspective."

IP delivery: delivering results to users based on IP address. Cloaking: showing different pages to users than to search engines.

IP delivery includes things like "users from Britain get sent to the, users from France get sent to the .fr". This is fine-even Google does this.

It's when you do something *special* or out-of-the-ordinary for Googlebot that you start to get in trouble, because that's cloaking. In the example above, cloaking would be "if a user is from Googlelandia, they get sent to our Google-only optimized text pages."

So IP delivery is fine, but don't do anything special for Googlebot. Just treat it like a typical user visiting the site.

It all comes down to intent, as Cre8asite Forum Site Admin says in the forum thread named Final word on cloaking?

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