What is Cloaking in SEO? Is it Ethical?

What is Cloaking?

Cloaking is the practise of covering specific parts of the website to the audience. In other words, in cloaking the Google Crawler will see one edition and the reader will see another edition. This is known as black hat SEO, or in rather common terms, black magic. It will get you what you want, but it is not nice. 

How to do Cloaking?

It is simple as having the same text colour as the background. For example in this blog article I can have a white text. Probably you will not see it. But the crawler sees it. It will rate the article according to what you can see (the black text) and what you cannot see (the white text). This is the most simple form of cloaking. There are some other ways to cloak as well. These involve using different software and Java Script to prevent normal users and Google Crawler see eye-to-eye. 

A summary of Cloaking in SEO

Is it Ethical?

There is a reason cloaking is known as black hat SEO. It is not like backlinking or broken link repairing. It never comes being close to ethical. It is not only unethical, but also a very cheap act. Some argue there can be white hat cloaking too. But it is far from truth. No one knows how cheating the Google Crawler can get “White Hat”. 

What Happens If Cloaking is Caught?

You obviously would not like to find out. Google crawler use spiders and bots to do its bidding. These are not just hard coded or human controlled programmes. They are very powerful Artificial Intelligences. They will not detect cloaking at the first time if you have done cloaking. But they will ultimately detect it. And the penalty would be enormous. Your site will loose its ability to get indexed. Imagine being blacklisted by Google.

Google clearly mentions here that cloaking is a punishable offense. Check Googles webmaster guidelines to see for other bad SEO and SERP habits. 

So, Is it Can or Can’t?

Well this is a big no. No as big as it can get. Never ever try it if you love your site. 

Here’s what Google’s Matt Cutts tell about cloaking practise. Yes, they know !!!!

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