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is Webmasterworld using black hat techniques?

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

  1. qwerty100

    qwerty100 Guest

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    #41
    NYtimes seems to be doing something slightly different. Their content is available for free for the first few days (when google probably spiders it) and then it becomes available only for members with a login. After a week or so it becomes available only for subscribers. (At least that is how it seems to work for me.) If I'm correct, that seems like it isn't actually cloaking if GoogleBot gets the same results you'd get as a normal users.

    Someone mentioned that Google was doing a program to access pages behind logins. That is just for adsense. It doesn't relate to the Google search results. The idea is that if you have a private forum you can still make money from adsense.

    If I did what webmasterworld is doing (serve a different page to googlebot than what is served to regular users) I would expect to get knocked out of the search engine rankings because Google specifically says not to present a different page to the GoogleBot.
    SEMrush
    However since WebmasterWorld is fairly high profile and it seems to work ok for them, perhaps it is ok as long as the content is available for free. Has anyone actually asked google about doing the exact same thing with their forum?
     
    qwerty100, Nov 15, 2006 IP
    SEMrush
  2. Monty

    Monty Peon

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    #42
    Monty, Nov 15, 2006 IP
  3. mass nerder

    mass nerder Peon

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    #43
    Humans and search engines ARE seeing the same content. It's just that humans need to be logged in. It may technically be cloaking, but it should be thought of more as Googlebot being permanently authenticated. There's no reason all of that useful information should be dropped from Google just because you need a free registration to view it.
     
    mass nerder, Nov 15, 2006 IP
  4. Phynder

    Phynder Well-Known Member

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    #44
    So, basically you are saying that EVERYONE can setup their website - as long as it is "useful information" - in such a way that it requires you to sign up with an email before you can access the information? And that should be cool with Google?

    I totally disagree.
     
    Phynder, Nov 15, 2006 IP
  5. qwerty100

    qwerty100 Guest

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    #45
    So if humans and googlebot see the same content, but humans have to register for 3 free offers do you think that would fly?

    Requiring registration that takes an email address is inherently taking something of value from the user. With the ease of getting another email address, it is hard to say that it has a lot of value, but the point is someone browsing the web will see something different when they click on the link than what Google's search results lead you to believe will be on that page.

    If I setup my domain so that whenever someone comes from Google, they are directed to a page of affiliate programs before allowing them to continue on to the regular content, I really don't think Google is going to look on that too favorably. Even that would be less obstructive to the user experience than requiring a login.
     
    qwerty100, Nov 15, 2006 IP
    johnweb likes this.
  6. ssnet

    ssnet Peon

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    #46
    i own a membership site, i would love to get the info inside seen by google, does anyone no how i can let google in then?

    hows it done?

    my site is phpbb

    thanks
     
    ssnet, Nov 15, 2006 IP
  7. johnweb

    johnweb Peon

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    #47
    My questions exactly, which I've poised to the Google Webmaster Group. Hopefully it get's some notice and people respond on an official basis.
     
    johnweb, Nov 22, 2006 IP
    jhmattern likes this.
  8. adwordaffiliate

    adwordaffiliate Active Member

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    #48
    I've always deemed cloaking in two ways. You've got ethical cloaking & unethical cloaking.

    Unethical cloaking is providing completely different content via IP Delivery to the search engine spiders than you would to the normal user (i.e. redirect to an affiliate page).

    The cloaking that NYT or Webmasterworld would be the other end of the spectrum. They're not providing different content, it's the same. You just need to sign up to view it.

    Mind you, if I employed this kind of system on one of my forums & I was banned for it then I'd kick up a fuss :mad:
     
    adwordaffiliate, Nov 22, 2006 IP
  9. johnweb

    johnweb Peon

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    #49
    Agreed that there are good and bad ways to cloak.

    What if I were to present the exact same content, serving up the exact same pages to all users and agents, but made the users be logged in to view the content? Is that all right in google's opinion?

    The real reason for such a scenerio of course is to harvest names and email addresses of a very targeted audience. So I write my site about dogs and cats, put some work into it, work its way to an authority on cats and dogs. I decide to impart a cloaking strategy to only serve content to registered users, registration is free. No-harm-no-foul.

    Except two weeks later the visitors to the site are bombarded with targeted email campaigns selling their e-books on cats and dogs.

    Thank you google for the free mailing list, to use, sell, and exploit for a profit far greater than a few adsense clicks.
     
    johnweb, Nov 22, 2006 IP
  10. softplus

    softplus Peon

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    #50
    The simple solution would be to do something like the old Experts Exchange site: keep the original posting on top, add a *large* block of "please register / sign up to participate" (if the user isn't logged in) and display the rest of the content below that block. New users who don't want to register can see everything just as it would be visible in Google + co (only with a "please register" block in between), existing users get the content without any interruption.

    No need to cloak there. No need to force registations.

    But I bet you get a lot more if you force them to register (though perhaps a lot of people who go away because of it). Oh and of course: registering looks like you have to pay to get access; when people have to post a how-to on getting free access it must be misleading.

    Maybe you should add that element to your Dogs+Cats site, Johnweb? Paid access with a tiny "click here to get in free" link :D
     
    softplus, Nov 23, 2006 IP
    johnweb likes this.
  11. linkstraffic

    linkstraffic Well-Known Member

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    #51
    :p go cloaking!
     
    linkstraffic, Nov 23, 2006 IP