What, exactly, is "Domain Cloaking"?

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What, exactly, is "Domain Cloaking"?

Postby SpaceMarine » Sun Sep 17, 2006 6:27 am

I may be violating a Google rule.

I have two domain names that point to the same site. The reason I did this are:

1) One domain name withe keywords in the title for the search engines and websites (long hard to type name).

2) A much shorter name for print ads.

I really hope I didn't shoot myself in the foot.
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Re: What, exactly, is "Domain Cloaking"?

Postby dcz » Sun Sep 17, 2006 11:53 am

SpaceMarine wrote:I really hope I didn't shoot myself in the foot.

you did ;)

but this is not cloaking unless you do http redirect search engines bots on the "keyword" domain.

Cloaking is defined as showing different content to bots and users. This can be achieved by filtering search engine bots upon their ip and User Agents at the server level. Doing this you can show up a nice pages to user and an heavily Optimized one to bots. This is not a good thing to do at all if you want more than non lasting SEO results, as one doing this will be blacklisted, just a matter of time and spam reports.

For sure, cloaking the domain name is the last thing to do, as more than taking the risk to get blacklisted, you create a lot of duplicate (one per URL actually).

So in all case, you should forget about this idea to maintain two domains on the same web site. The www prefix topic covers as well how to redirect all linked domains to a single one (You' don't be blacklisted if you only link several domains to a web site you'll only get dupes).

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Re: What, exactly, is "Domain Cloaking"?

Postby here2help » Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:28 pm

You are 100% safe, because simply this is the Link structure of the Web and that is the essense of the Internet, multiple websites linking to each other, and i don't think google goes a long to to try to figure out your intentions.
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Re: What, exactly, is "Domain Cloaking"?

Postby SeO » Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:42 pm

Well it depends.

I doubt you can get a black hat penalty if you link several domain to the same site, but you will be penalized (not punished) for duplicate content, and this is for sure. You would create as many duplicate as you have domains for each pages of the real site.

So that's why HTTP 301 redirecting all domains installed to the unique (canonical) one you want to (and actually have to, if you want to be well ranked) use is safer and better.

Google does pay great attention to how your site is linked from others, it's the whole story about PageRank. And believe me, since the beginning, google is just checking more and more in details everything.
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Re: What, exactly, is "Domain Cloaking"?

Postby HB » Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:36 pm

SeO wrote:...you will be penalized (not punished) for duplicate content, and this is for sure.

Maybe it isn't so cut and dry. The Google online help says dupes aren't intrinsically bad: Webmaster Tools Help - Duplicate content and Should I block duplicate pages using robots.txt?
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Re: What, exactly, is "Domain Cloaking"?

Postby renajoseph » Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:21 am

From a Google perspective it doesn't matter as all the domains point to the same set of pages, therefore they will all be identical. Google will "choose" one of the domains to index and all the others will effectively be ignored, thereby providing you with no advantage.

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Last edited by HB on Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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