Thursday, June 03, 2004
just so you know, I've been working long hours lately and this information below was all typed out and I was about to hit publish when I realized I was looking at Google's source code and not MoreBusiness.com's source code. I decided to leave the text in here anyway so you can use it as a primer on cloaking.
For those of you not familiar with cloaking, it's the presentation of a specific page to a search engine spider while presenting another page to a human.
Normally this isn't that big of a deal and there are real world scenarios when it makese sense to serve one version of a page to the spiders while serving a slightly different version (source code only) to an actual user. However, this is not one of those cases. In fact, when I looked at the source code I realized all they had done was presented Google with a page built from Google's own index. I'm providing a link to the spam code here so Google can penalize them accordingly.
Chances are, Google has a filter in place that will not serve up it's own results when they're found on other sites but these guys have bypassed that by serving up a completely different version of the page to end users than they served up to Google's crawler (Googlebot) for purposes of ranking better for a specific search engine keyword.
This is sad and needs to be reported... hmmm, wonder who'll do the reporting.
End of section on cloaking and coverage of my own mistake :)
So I'm still going to include the code because there's something wrong with it (at least for Google's displaying purposes) and I haven't determined why that url is spanning across the width of the page but I'll dig into it and report later.