page title icon What is Cloaking in SEO | A Detailed Guide About It

Don’t we all want to rank our website in Search Engines to get organic traffic? We all want to optimize our website as well as content to make it visible in SERPs. But not everyone can perform the best SEO methods.

Having a Good SEO score depends on several factors like Choosing Best Theme, Having Necessary Plugins and making your site optimized enough to attract visitors.

However, some newbies who do not adhere to the Webmaster Guideline and perform Cloaking to rank their keywords and post in Search Engines.

To know all the essential Guidelines for Blogging, you must read all Search Engine Webmaster Guidelines. Below are some Search Engines Webmaster Guidelines which you must adhere to get better ranking and visibility in SERPs.

Further, let’s discuss in detail Cloaking in SEO and How Clocking can be done?

Note: We highly encourage you to not engage in such Black hat SEO practices.

What is Cloaking in SEO?

Cloaking is known as the “Black hat SEO” techniques. The websites that engage in the black hat do not adhere to webmaster guidelines. In the Cloaking method, the content presented to Search Engines crawlers (i.e. spider or bots) is different from that shown to Humans.

In other words, the clock is a practice that delivers different content for search engines crawlers and humans to get better indexing.

Now, you must understand that clocking in SEO in a pure black hat technique may lead to your site being completely banned from indexing by search engines. It is better suggested for you to not follow this type of method to get a rank in your post.

Now, you have understood the meaning of Cloaking in SEO. But you should know How Cloaking can be done. You must avoid this type of technique in future to get better ranking and visibility in Search Engines.

Before proceeding to the process of cloaking, you have to know the types of cloaking in SEO. Yes, you heard it right! Some types of cloaking can be done to manipulate ranking and increase visibility in SERPs.

What are different types of Cloaking Methods

Various types of cloaking can be done to manipulate ranking. Some of them are:

  1. IP based Cloaking

Every user whether it is human or Crawler (bot) has an IP (Internet Protocol) Address based on their Geolocation and ISP (Internet Service Provider). This type of Cloaking is done by modifying .htaccess by using reverse DNS (Domain Name Server) records from the hosting Cpanel account.

  1. JavaScript Cloaking

The users who enable their JavaScript setting are served with different content than users who disabled their JavaScript setting. Usually, Crawlers do not have any JavaScript enabled and hence they are presented with different content.

  1. User-Agent Cloaking

User-Agent Cloaking is software (such as a browser) that acts on behalf of any user to fetch information for any operating system. This type of cloaking works when your user-agent is recognized as a crawler or bot, then cloaked content is shown to them.

Now, the above are some examples of the cloaking techniques that are performed by black hat SEO experts. So, now we know Search Engines do not like to get tricked and therefore these types of practices can lead your site in trouble getting indexed.

There are even some common methods of Cloaking in SEO that can be done for getting higher ranking and visibility. However, many bloggers know some easy pointers to perform cloaking techniques to manipulate whole SERPs.

Anyways, let’s have a look at some basic methods of Cloaking performed by some newbies to get a higher ranking.

How is Cloaking Done (Basic Methods)

So, you have gone through the definition of Cloaking but what about creating cloaking content, how is cloaking done? How Cloaking shows different results for Crawlers and Humans?

The above infographic will help you to get an overview of Cloaking. We also have mentioned the detailed definition of all cloaking terms. Let’s have a look at these.

Some basic methods of Cloaking in SEO

  • Invisible/Hidden Text or Keywords – This is one of the most common techniques to rank their content for any particular keywords. In this method, a phrase or keyword is written in the same colour as the background colour so that crawlers can index those keywords but no human visitors could see that keyword.

Example, a website has a white background and the colour of the text is black. But to perform cloaking bloggers may change their text colour to white so that it will get invisible and no visitors could see that particular keyword.

  • HTML Rich Websites – Another method that bloggers engage to rank their content in SERPs is HTML Rich Content. A Good SEO website has more text than HTML tags. But in the Cloaking method, newbies write short articles or posts and use these types of black hat techniques.
  • URL Rewriting – This type of cloaking is done by rewriting the url and by putting any desired keywords in the URL to get ranked with that particular url. Some people does not care about the topic of the content and put irrelevant keyword in URL

For example, you have written a post about “Best SEO techniques to follow for Blogging” and in URL you have write “Best Gaming Channels on youtube.” As you have seen both URL and topic of the content is different and thus termed as URL rewriting Cloaking.

In that case, the ratio of text compared to HTML tags will be very low. Then people choose the cloaking method to follow SEO guidelines.

So, above are some basic methods of cloaking that people choose to follow to get higher ranking and visibility in Search Engines.

What is Google’s Penalty for Websites that Engage in Cloaking

Google is very strict in terms of its webmaster guidelines. Google frequently updates their algorithm to bring the best guidelines for bloggers. If you tried to trick Google by using Cloaking, sooner or later your site may be completely banned from being indexed by Google. Thus your website will be of no use and will not give you any benefits also.

Google already blacklisted some authoritative sites that have engaged in cloaking to fool Google. It will be better to use White hat SEO techniques instead of Black Hat SEO to make your online business run successfully in future.

Does White hat Cloaking Exists

For clearing this doubt of the White hat cloaking method, we look up for Matt Cutts, he said:

White hat cloaking is a paradox in terms of Google. We’ve never had to make an exception for “white hat” cloaking. If someone tells you that to practice white hat Cloaking— that’s dangerous.

Now, you must understand that there are no such terms as white hat Cloaking in Google Webmaster’s Guidelines. sites that try to fool Google, will have to suffer from a heavy loss by getting a permanent ban from Google Index.

Should you Engage in Cloaking Method

By reading the above facts and information, you have understood whether you follow the Cloaking Method to rank your posts or content. But if you haven’t decided yet we have an answer for you,

That answer is No, you should not engage in this type of method.

Be a responsible blogger, and only practice genuine and white hat techniques to rank your post or content in Search Engines.

If you want to rank your content you must have to Create a 10X Content that will definitely have the power to acquire the first-page rank.

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