Decloaking Hazards - Why You Should Shun Caching Search Engines

Written by Ralph Tegtmeier and Dirk Brockhausen

While all search engines use one form of caching or another to build their indices, some of them make a point of displaying cached web pages to their users. The commonly quoted pretext for this is that it offers searchers fast access to a page's content, making it easier to check out whether it's what they are really looking for inrepparttar first place. Of course, what this actually does is keep visitors onrepparttar 128419 search engine's site, making them more susceptible to banner ads and other means of promotion.

However,repparttar 128420 drawbacks this entails are numerous. - Depending onrepparttar 128421 search engine's index cyclerepparttar 128422 content presented may be quite outdated. - More often than not,repparttar 128423 presented pages will not be fully functional: = relative (internal) links tend to get broken = JavaScript and external Java applets won't work anymore = site design and layout may be massacred by incorrect or non-existent display of external Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) = banner ads may not be displayed properly, thus depriving webmasters of revenue = dynamic content may not be renderedrepparttar 128424 way it was originally set up. - Displaying content within an alien context (e.g. underrepparttar 128425 search engine's header, encased in a frame, etc.) beyondrepparttar 128426 control of said content's generators/authors, arguably constitutes a blatant infringement of intellectual property and copyrights.

Moreover, for a web site employing IP delivery, this practice constitutes a prime Decloaking Hazard: as cloaking works by feeding an optimized (or, at least, different) page to search engine spiders not intended for human perusal, caching such pages and displaying them forrepparttar 128427 asking will reveal your cloaking effort, this rendering it useless - any unscrupulous competitor could easily steal your cloaked code to optimize their own pages with it and achieve better rankings to your detriment.

The most prominent search engine displaying cached web pages not of their own making is, of course, Google. Inrepparttar 128428 past Google staff would promptly comply with any request by webmasters not to display cached pages. Then, about a year and some ago, Google introduced a proprietary meta tag (META NAME="GOOGLEBOT" CONTENT="NOARCHIVE") for webmasters to include inrepparttar 128429 header of those pages they want to see excluded from this feature.

The Google meta tag actually works. While there was some indication immediately after their introduction that sites opting for this exclusion might be penalized ranking wise, this seems to have abated. Obviously, should Google really start a witch hunt on cloaking sites, as their public announcements are font of stating every other month or so, it only stands to reason that web sites making use of this special meta tag might constitute prime targets. For this reason we do not recommend cloaking for Google unless you do it exclusively from a dedicated shadow domain.

It pays to study the Search Engines

Written by John Saxon

Vive la difference

Here we were, very complacent atrepparttar significant progress our site was making inrepparttar 128418 search engine placement stakes.

Number 3 on Excite, with a number of hits coming in, number 7 on Northern Light, no hits from there, and so on. We were starting to get a number of hits from Google and Fast and then ... we appeared on Lycos, out ofrepparttar 128419 blue at Number 1, but only on one key phrase 'barnsley accountants' and when I tried 'barnsley accountant' we fell out of site (no pun intended).

What was wrong, why couldn't Lycos recognise that accountant is inrepparttar 128420 word accountants? Why was 'Business Start Up' getting nowhere on Lycos?

In order to solverepparttar 128421 problem it was back to basics. What was it reading, what wererepparttar 128422 words highlighted inrepparttar 128423 listing? How did Lycos work. After all it is one ofrepparttar 128424 major Search Engines and if they are investing all that money advertising on TV (byrepparttar 128425 way only 1% of web site hits come from 'off-line' promotion) I should piggy back this campaign and make sure we are well up onrepparttar 128426 Lycos listing.

I know, from bitter experience, that Google works on and<IMG height=12 src="/the2.jpg" alt="repparttar 128427"> first paragraph or so of<IMG height=12 src="/the2.jpg" alt="repparttar 128428"> <BODY> , AltaVista looks at <KEYWORD>s and little else, but Lycos is a different beast. The secret lies in becoming a student of search engines - looking at them for hour after hour and trying to 'optimise' your site to reach them all without alienating any of<IMG height=12 src="/the2.jpg" alt="repparttar 128429"> major ones.<p>Lycos seems to work on<IMG height=12 src="/the2.jpg" alt="repparttar 128430"> title, however<IMG height=12 src="/the2.jpg" alt="repparttar 128431"> rest of it is driven by<IMG height=12 src="/the2.jpg" alt="repparttar 128432"> description that is contained in<IMG height=12 src="/the2.jpg" alt="repparttar 128433"> <DESCRIPTION>s that we write for every page (don't we?).<p>I had omitted to write descriptions for most of<IMG height=12 src="/the2.jpg" alt="repparttar 128434"> 603 pages on<IMG height=12 src="/the2.jpg" alt="repparttar 128435"> site because I assumed that they were only for human reviewers and I wasn't too interested in them at this stage of development of our web site.<p>So I wrote descriptions for each page, making sure that I wrote singular 'accountant' solicitor' and plural 'accountants' and solicitors' in all<IMG height=12 src="/the2.jpg" alt="repparttar 128436"> <DESCRIPTION> meta tags, in a particular section of<IMG height=12 src="/the2.jpg" alt="repparttar 128437"> web site and submitted them to Lycos - long wait - then, there we were Barnsley Accountants, Sheffield Accountants, Doncaster Solicitors, Rotherham Marketing Services, South Yorkshire Premises ... every time our site was number one. <br><br></font></td><!-- google_ad_section_end --></tr><tr><td>Cont'd on page 2 ==<a class="mlink" href="2-Decloaking_Hazards_-_Why_You_Should_Shun_Caching_Search_Engines-28419.htm">></a></td></tr></table><script type="text/javascript"><!-- google_ad_client = "pub-5766870852072819"; google_ad_width = 728; google_ad_height = 90; google_ad_format = "728x90_as"; google_ad_channel ="8831454965"; google_color_border = "CFB9A1"; google_color_bg = "CFB9A1"; google_color_link = "000000"; google_color_url = "431B02"; google_color_text = "431B02"; //--></script> <script type="text/javascript" src=""> </script> </td> </tr> </table> <table width="770" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tr> <td> </td> </tr> <tr> <td height="48" align="center" background="images/bg_nav_bottm.jpg"><span class="style3"> © 2005<br> <a href="terms.html" rel="nofollow">Terms of Use</a></span></td> </tr> </table></td> </tr> </table> <script type="text/javascript"> var HASH_ESCAPED="%23"; function TrackIt(adUnit){ if (window.status) { var adDomain = escape(window.status.substring(6)); var pyPage = document.location.pathname; var params =; var hasAnchor = params.lastIndexOf(HASH_ESCAPED)!= -1; params = hasAnchor? (params.substring(0, params.lastIndexOf(HASH_ESCAPED))) : params; pyPage = escape(pyPage.substring(pyPage.lastIndexOf('/') + 1)); pyPage = pyPage + params; var curTime = new Date().valueOf(); var bug = new Image(); bug.src = '/track/adsenseTrack.php?pyPage=' + pyPage + '&adDomain=' + adDomain + '&adUnit=' + adUnit + "&time=" + curTime; } } function TrackIt0() {TrackIt(0); } function TrackIt1() {TrackIt(1); } function TrackIt2() {TrackIt(2); } var elements = document.getElementsByTagName("iframe"); for (var i = 0; i < elements.length; i++) { if(elements[i].src.indexOf('') > -1) { //elements[i].onfocus = TrackIt; if (i==0) elements[i].onfocus = TrackIt0; if (i==1) elements[i].onfocus = TrackIt1; if (i==2) elements[i].onfocus = TrackIt2; } } </script> <!--WEBBOT bot="HTMLMarkup" startspan ALT="Site Meter" --> <script type="text/javascript" language="JavaScript">var site="s19improve"</script> <script type="text/javascript" language="JavaScript1.2" src=""> </script> <noscript> <a href="" target="_top"> <img src="" alt="Site Meter" border=0></a> </noscript> <!-- Copyright (c)2002 Site Meter --> <!--WEBBOT bot="HTMLMarkup" Endspan --> </body> </html>