Does Cloaking Still Make Sense?

Do you cloak? I wouldn’t touch that thing with a ten foot pole.

In a nutshell, cloaking is that blackhat technique whereby sneaky software generates two kinds of webpages on the fly. One page is intended only for human visitors. If a person like Everton or Umar visit, the server displays tastefully laid out pages with useful information . Now, when a google or yahoo bot visits, the software serves up a gobbledygook of code that makes no sense even to one with an IQ of 300- however, the content is highly optimized for keywords. The end result is that you rank highly for those words. That’s the theory.

This entire year, some blackhat friends of mine had been extolling the virtues of some pricy software called Fantomaster which costs $2000+ but which they claim had them dominating the rankings even with relatively new sites. The $2000 was worth it in their opinion.

I visited their sites occasionaly and did notice that they held the top ten keywords despite having a PR of 2 or below. Some words they vied for even were those hotly contested ones pertaining to the financial industry. I was tempted. It took me months to build rankings the white hat way.

Good thing I didn’t yield to temptation.

Fantomaster did the job well for 11 months then Google found them out. Just a few days ago, all their sites (some 30 of they) tanked in PR and ranking. PR dropped to N/A and their traces were stripped from the search engine results. They’re now applying for reconsideration. Good luck with that. I doubt Google will listen. Anything that manipulates search results is a no-no. That’s all the more so when you serve nothing but useless information full of ads. These friends of mine ran Made For Adsense networks that simply regurgitated content populated with adsense. It’s definitely crap… but crap that ranked well.

If you’re tempted to increase rankings the lazy way, go ahead. But don’t blame the vendor of pricy blackhat tools when something bad happens. And it will happen.

23 Responses to Does Cloaking Still Make Sense?

  1. Mathew Lewis August 21, 2009 at 7:02 am #

    Good that you did not tilt towards the blackhat technique. I have seen many sites in my related industry use balckhat they just come into top for few days and go back to some 30th page or even they are never seen again. As of my experience never use and blackhat tools if you want to be in the industry for longer period of time.

  2. Mathew Lewis August 21, 2009 at 8:02 am #

    Good that you did not tilt towards the blackhat technique. I have seen many sites in my related industry use balckhat they just come into top for few days and go back to some 30th page or even they are never seen again. As of my experience never use and blackhat tools if you want to be in the industry for longer period of time.

  3. Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach August 21, 2009 at 9:51 am #

    Page cloaking is ridiculous – heck, ANYTHING that games Google is ridiculous. It’s a hard lesson to learn, mind you.

    Hope they had optins on their pages so at least their lists were being built at the same time!
    .-= Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach´s last blog ..Finally some good news – there’s hope! MHE =-.

  4. Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach August 21, 2009 at 10:51 am #

    Page cloaking is ridiculous – heck, ANYTHING that games Google is ridiculous. It’s a hard lesson to learn, mind you.

    Hope they had optins on their pages so at least their lists were being built at the same time!
    .-= Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach´s last blog ..Finally some good news – there’s hope! MHE =-.