Website Cloaking At Its Worst

by Paul Wilson

 

cloaking-ff

I remember back in 2003 learning about cloaking to help your search engine ranking. The basic concept is that you give the search engine bots a different page than what you give a real live person. I recall reading at that time that cloaking wasn’t yet determined to be black hat.

However, six years later, cloaking has been firmly established by the search engines as deep, solid, black hat seo. If you get caught you can guarantee you will be booted from the search index.

Yesterday, I had a friend come across an example that I have to share here. My friend was looking at the domain auctions and stumbled across the site chadbadlubavitch.ws (don’t worry, this is definitely a nofollow link). He was viewing it in Google’s browser, Chrome. Afterwards, he IM-ed the site over to me to see if I felt he should buy it. I viewed it in Firefox, and pulled up a totally different website than what my friend had in Chrome.

The page I saw in firefox was showing a large image of a busty bikini woman with very little text on the page. Screen Shot

My friend’s view in Chrome, gave a much different web page. His view was of a modestly dressed, hair pulled back (almost libarian looking), business woman with lots of text on the page. Screen Shot

Interesting enough, we looked at Google cache, and it shows what the domain original was only seven days earlier. Screen Shot

If you do a little digging you can find the exact design found in Google cache on another domain at: chabad.qc.ca

We concluded, that chadbadlubavitch.ws was dropped by the Jewish organization that owned it for a better domain. The old domain was then picked up and re-purposed as a spammy get rich quick website. However, the programmer of the spammy site didn’t create a cloaking ip for chrome. Surprisingly, the site still has its page rank as of the writing of this post, but I am sure this will not last long.

I am surprised that people still waste their time on this tactic. It’s just too easy to get caught and not worth the short term benefits.

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