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is Webmasterworld using black hat techniques?

Discussion in 'General Marketing' started by mikkom, Nov 13, 2006.

  1. #1
    Hi all,

    Sometimes (many times) when I try to search some webmaster stuff from google, I get results from webmasterworld. These results never have a cache link (on google at least).
    SEMrush
    When I click the link, it will take me to a page that says "you must pay to get membership blah blah", isn't this cloaking in its purest form?
     
    mikkom, Nov 13, 2006 IP
    SEMrush
  2. cellularnews

    cellularnews Peon

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    #2
    Nope.

    webmasterworld requires a log in to access their content (not necessarily to pay) - and to prevent caching, they tell google not to cache the content.

    Not black hat at all - just a tad strange although I gather they had good reasons for doing it, I forget what they are right now.
     
    cellularnews, Nov 13, 2006 IP
  3. Nintendo

    Nintendo ♬ King of da Wackos ♬

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    #3
    Then how does the Googlebot get the content if you have to be loged in to view the page!!! Yah, it's cloaking if it lets Google see the content with out registering!!!
     
    Nintendo, Nov 13, 2006 IP
    -Abhishek- likes this.
  4. scribby

    scribby Active Member

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    #4
    You could probably try faking your User Agent to Google and seeing if you gain access to the topics? It really annoys me when I come across webmasterworld topics that I would love to read, but I guess thats how they lure people into buying membership.
     
    scribby, Nov 13, 2006 IP
  5. bochgoch

    bochgoch Peon

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    #5
    In my experience, most of the time the webmasterworld articles don't help anyway (a lot of unanswered or partially answered questions)...I now ignore them and use the other results.
     
    bochgoch, Nov 13, 2006 IP
  6. WillB

    WillB Peon

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    #6
    WebMasterWorld used to have a few open forums didn't it? Seems they've closed the whole lot off now.

    It may be worth faking your User-Agent, but the cloaking is far more likely to be done by the IP address of the Googlebot. There are lists of them available somewhere...
     
    WillB, Nov 13, 2006 IP
  7. andre75

    andre75 Peon

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    #7
    Hm. I used be turned off by this too as it certainly looked as if you need to buy a membership but thats NOT true. You can register for free and see all content (I saw this somewhere mentioned on Cutts site - how to register at webmasterworld). LOL, I guess I am not the brightest guy out there.
     
    andre75, Nov 13, 2006 IP
  8. kkibak

    kkibak Peon

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    #8
    This is really frustrating / annoying. They aren't the only ones doing it, I believe NY times, etc. do it as well.

    It's not blackhat though because they have some kind of system by which it is allowed and approved by G. I wish I could remember the details--heard something about it on WebmasterRadio.fm. They were discussing whether or not it was okay, and someone suggested that if G is gonna allow this they should atleast put a note next to each result saying "Requires Subscription" or something so people know they will have to signup before they can view the content.
     
    kkibak, Nov 13, 2006 IP
  9. myway

    myway Member

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    #9
    Or it maybe that they allow to scan their content by exact googlebots by some access rules on server settings (or wherever...). I'm guess too... but you've rite, that's could be taken as cloaking... don't know...
     
    myway, Nov 13, 2006 IP
  10. andre75

    andre75 Peon

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    #10
    I am not sure I would call it cloaking. After signing up you see the exact same content the bot sees. You may as well call it spam bot blocking instead of cloaking. There are many other websites doing this. I am a member of IEEE at a pretty hefty fee (job related). They have a giant database of technical articles (ieeexplore.ieee.org). You will need to pay to see it, but google indexes the pdfs. Same as Elsevier (some publishing company in Netherlands)
     
    andre75, Nov 13, 2006 IP
  11. S.Phoenix

    S.Phoenix Peon

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    #11


    This IS CLOAKING.

    They always appears in Google in good positions with the snappets showing what we are seeking, but when we get to cache and live page it doesn't allow us to get the content.

    Cloak is give the SPIDER one thing, and give the Human USER other :(

    I will user the spam report if they don't change it :D
     
    S.Phoenix, Nov 13, 2006 IP
  12. andre75

    andre75 Peon

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    #12
    Your color choices do nothing for readability.
    Good luck with your report. Cutts himself quotes them on his blog, so I guess your chances are less than a snowballs chances in Hell.
     
    andre75, Nov 13, 2006 IP
  13. fireflyproject

    fireflyproject Active Member

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    #13

    I can't remember for the life of me where, but I read the other day that google is testing a new program for people with member sites. A script that allows them access into the member portions, with website permission of course.
     
    fireflyproject, Nov 13, 2006 IP
  14. roger123

    roger123 Active Member

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    #14
    You can still read the pages there by using any spider simulator on the web. I use the one at seochat.com. The spider can read the contents of these pages without any problem and that's why they are indexed well in search engines.
     
    roger123, Nov 13, 2006 IP
  15. WillB

    WillB Peon

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    #15
    That's a nice tool Roger, thanks for the tip. Shame it doesn't work in the same way that proxy scripts do (ie, so you can actually browse the forum).
     
    WillB, Nov 14, 2006 IP
  16. andre75

    andre75 Peon

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    #16
    I am still surprised about the trouble people go through so they will not have to sign up somewhere. Whats so hard about entering a throw away email to gain access. Lets face it, each of us have tons of those emails set up for such purposes.
     
    andre75, Nov 14, 2006 IP
  17. Phynder

    Phynder Well-Known Member

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    #17
    It is cloaking - pure and simple. I am in IEEE and have been paying for the Digital Library also, but that doesn't excuse the use of cloaking. Either ban that material or allow cloaking.

     
    Phynder, Nov 14, 2006 IP
  18. andre75

    andre75 Peon

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    #18
    No way. Might as well bann New York Times along with it :p
    Again, cloaking is if you give the search engine a bunch of auto generated garbage text to index and your users ads to click on (but no garbage text).

    Those services actually give both the same text, only you have one more step to see it yourself.

    By your arugment, using noscript on a page would be cloaking to, since the user sees the script stuff (maybe a javascript menu) while the bot sees the html stuff.
     
    andre75, Nov 14, 2006 IP
  19. OriginalVision

    OriginalVision Peon

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    #19
    In the case of WMW it's a membership fee, not a throw away e-mail. I'm thinking the spider simulator is cheating, but very clever.
     
    OriginalVision, Nov 14, 2006 IP
  20. andre75

    andre75 Peon

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    #20
    Did you read the entire thread? No!
    I said it above and I say it again:
    The membership is free!
    Why don't you let cutts show you how to do it:
    http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/how-to-sign-up-for-webmasterworld/

    EDIT: I am not saying their sign up form isn't misleading. I too find that a bit shady.
    Also there is no information there you cannot find right here. DP has far more information.
     
    andre75, Nov 14, 2006 IP