Is Twitter Cloaking TweetDeck For Google?

Nov 21, 2012 • 8:27 am | comments (5) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Twitter CloakingIf you search for [tweetdeck] in Google doesn't show up. If you do the same search in Bing for [tweetdeck], does show up. If you go as a user to, the page does render.

So why is it not showing up in Google? That was a question asked in Google+. The answer is not that obvious, and it took a Googler to do some investigation work to find out why.

TweetDeck Google

TweetDeck Bing

Google's John Mueller noticed that when the useragent GoogleBot accesses, it is requested to 301 redirect to In short, it is only redirecting GoogleBot from to Twitter.

John explained:

It looks like they're doing this based on the user-agent. Checking with Googlebot shows the redirect:

$ curl -s -I -A Googlebot | grep -E "(HTTP|Location)"
HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently

Using "Bingbot" shows a 200 OK:

$ curl -s -I -A Bingbot | grep -E "(HTTP|Location)"
HTTP/1.1 200 OK

Using "Slurp" shows the redirect again:

$ curl -s -I -A Slurp | grep -E "(HTTP|Location)"
HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently

Theoretically there's also a chance that more is happening on an IP level, or that a very specific user-agent is being looked for, but if it's reacting based on a simplified user-agent like this, then I imagine that's what it's set up for. 

Is this really cloaking? You can learn more about Google's definition and views on cloaking over here.

That being said, two questions:

(1) Why is Twitter doing this?

(2) Will Google take action against this move?

Forum discussion at Google+.

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