Cloaking – What is cloaking?

Cloaking is a black hat SEO technique that tries to display different content on a website depending on the type of device that visits it, with the aim of tricking search engine robots to improve the search engine positioning of a website. .      

This is one of the first black SEO techniques that were used, which took advantage of the failures in the main search engines to achieve a good position in the search results more quickly than through conventional positioning techniques.    

In recent years, this technique has been used less and less since the results can be negative for the positioning of a website.  


What does cloaking consist of? 

Cloaking consists of showing different content on a web page to users than to search engine robots. 

Taking into account that the latter are what determine the SEO positioning of a website, cloaking will try to show content highly optimized for SEO positioning to the robots while it will show much friendlier content for users who visit the website.  

In this way, when it accesses a website, the search engine robot can be shown content completely focused on SEO positioning, with a large number of integrated keywords that it can interpret naturally on the website.

cloaking example

An example of a cloaking technique is placing in the index of a website links to internal pages of that same site that you want to position. However, it is not done in an orderly and natural way for the content, but rather they are inserted without taking into account the content and context.  

These links will be visible to users who enter, but they will be hidden from the search engine robots that visit the website, so in theory they will not exist for them.

How cloaking affects SEO

A few years ago, cloaking was a widespread SEO practice, since it managed to quickly give good results in the SEO positioning of web pages. I could place websites in the first organic positions of search engines in a short time, in keywords with high traffic density or high competition, and with poorly prepared content.  

Currently, the main search engines such as Google reward the creation of content that is natural, original and of interest to the user. At the same time, they punish black hat SEO positioning techniques such as cloaking, since they consider them unethical for trying to trick their robots.  

The current consequences of using cloaking techniques on our website can range from a penalty that lowers the page in the search results, to the disappearance of the page in the search engine, so it is not advisable to use cloaking or no other black hat SEO techniques on websites.