Danny Sullivan Speaks out on Googles Cloaking Policies

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Thread Title:
Google & Approved Cloaking
Thread Description:

Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Watch provides some much needed critism of Googles double standards with regard to cloaking. You need to be a SEW paid member to read the article he references in the blog post linked above (naughty naughty danny boy!) but this little snippet pretty much spells out the point:

In summary, Google needs to change its cloaking definition to acknowledge that approved cloaking is allowed -- and it definitely needs to move forward with providing better support to ALL web site owners, rather than just some of them.

It's no secret how I feel about Googles attitude to webmasters, i think they could do far, far better but when the critism comes from the good Mr sullivan one would certainly hope it might carry enough impact to actually break through to the boys at the plex.

Here's a very small quote from that article i mentioned above:

I've written and written and written in the past about the need for Google to provide some type of webmaster services to such publishers. It's time for the standard response of "we're always thinking" or "maybe in the future" to end. Get on with it now.

Failure to do so is going to cause web site owners to lose further faith with Google, or as mentioned, simply decide they might as well do whatever makes sense.

Come on Google, you can do better than this, let's have it eh?


I really don't agree with Dan

I really don't agree with Danny on this one. I read the subscriber-only article, and I also read Google's paragraph on cloaking.

Danny is asking Google to reword their paragraph, and the way he has it seems fine, however, I don't agree that it's necessary.

Google currently says this:

What is cloaking?

The term "cloaking" is used to describe a website that returns altered webpages to search engines crawling the site. In other words, the webserver is programmed to return different content to Google than it returns to regular users, usually in an attempt to distort search engine rankings. This can mislead users about what they'll find when they click on a search result. To preserve the accuracy and quality of our search results, Google may permanently ban from our index any sites or site authors that engage in cloaking to distort their search rankings.

Notice they say "usually in an attempt to distort search engine rankings."

Notice also that they say "Google may permanently ban...."

They don't say they will, and therefore I would say they've pretty much covered their asses and don't need to reword anything. I can certainly see where Google doesn't want to start taking a whole bunch of requests to allow various company's password protected pages. If they add something to their guidelines about "approved cloaking" being okay, they will be inundated with those requests.

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