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Is This Cloaking?

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3 replies to this topic

#1 ranch


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Posted 23 May 2009 - 03:50 AM

We serve different content to different users based on cookies, i.e. the cookie references a record in our database, which controls what content the user is served. This is not done for seo-reasons nor does it affect the normal user. Special users like our employees see more information on our products not relevant to normal users + can even change certain product attributes, which saves them the tedious job of first entering some admin tool to perform the change. Our partners also see more information, only relevant to the them.

Serving different content to different users sounds like cloaking, so my question is: Does Google detect what we do and if so do they mind?

#2 qwerty


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Posted 23 May 2009 - 09:03 AM

Googlebot won't have the cookie, so it'll see the same thing as the vast majority of people. You're not doing anything deceptive, since you're not trying to get Google to index the content that only a small number of people can see.

Nothing to worry about.

#3 Randy


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Posted 23 May 2009 - 09:26 AM

I would watch however how you're doing it.

For instance, if the content is in the html code but simply being hidden or not made visible when the cookie isn't present, Googlebot and the rest of 'em will see it. This could make them wonder why it's not visible to normal users.

If I needed to do something like this I'd use the cookie as a trigger to pull the extra content into the page as an include from an external file. That way it's not in the code at all if no cookie is present, so is a bit safer.

#4 ranch


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Posted 24 May 2009 - 01:16 AM

Thanks Randy and qwerty, I am very releaved :-)

(The additional html is generated only for the users in question)

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