Cloaking in Google Should be Acceptable for Religious Purposes

Nov 8, 2006 • 11:56 am | comments (4) by twitter mastodon | Filed Under Search Engine Cloaking / IP Delivery

Shimon Sandler wrote a post named Cloaking An Ecommerce Site where he asks, should you be allowed to cloak your e-commerce site for religious purposes. The situation is that some orthodox Jews shut down their web site on the Sabbath. So if you go to a site such as B&H from sundown Friday to darkness of Saturday night, you should get a sign that says they are closed. You will not be able to browse the site, you will not be able to look at product, I believe (but I am not sure) a one page message comes up telling the customer to come back after the Sabbath.

The issue here is that this may impact the site in the search results the rest of the week, and not just on Sabbath. Why? Because Google and other search engines may send a spider to the site and it will be inaccessible for about 25 hours, once per week.

So, Shimon asks, should Google allow you to cloak the site on that day only, by allowing spiders to access the main site, but not allow humans to access the site?

My argument, as I posted in Search Engine Roundtable Forums is;

Well, just like you are allowed special treatment for religious reasons, i.e. you can take standardized tests on sundays instead of saturdays in NY (I think), or you get kosher food on airlines, or you don't have to swear on a bible in court.... Why not special treatment for Google for Religious Reasons?

So should Google allow cloaking for religious reasons?

Forum discussion at Search Engine Roundtable Forums.

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