What is Cloaking in SEO and Why you Need to Avoid It

Even the best website with the most incredible content in the world won’t get very far if the people who would love it can’t actually find it in the first place. 

Behind every wildly popular website is a terrific search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. But it’s important to understand that one SEO technique isn’t necessarily just as good as another.

Unethical black hat SEO techniques like cloaking may get a site ahead initially, but they also go against search engine guidelines.

What is Cloaking in SEO

Spend much time learning about SEO or experimenting with different strategies, and you’re bound to hear about black hat SEO sooner or later. 

Black hat SEO is exactly what outbound calling laws it sounds like — a set of SEO techniques designed to manipulate search engines and fool them into granting a site a higher ranking than it rightly deserves.

Cloaking is a black hat SEO technique. Where a website shows one version of a URL, page, or piece of content to the search engines for ranking purposes while showing another to its actual visitors.

HTTP Accept-Language Cloaking

In this cloaking technique, a check is performed on a user’s HTTP Accept-Language header in order to determine whether it’s a standard visitor or a web crawler.

In the event it’s a crawler, the cloaked version of the site content will be served instead of the real version.

There are lots of reasons why a site BX Leads might decide to cloak. Sometimes a site is heavy in visual elements but light on text — a big no-no in Google’s book. Other times it relies heavily on Flash, another thing Google doesn’t particularly like or recommend.

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