Google Bans NY Times For Cloaking!

Ha! That’s a headline that will never be true. Yup they still have their page rank 10 even though they are flagrantly violating Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Jamie Sirovich tells the tale perfectly in his piece, The Google Cloaking Hypocrisy:

There is no doubt about it. What the New York Times is doing, without special Google accommodations, or at least their complicity, is a black hat technique according to Google for everyone else. Other search engines are less quick to vilify cloaking, so long as it is not used to spam. I agree, but Google is in a pickle here.

It is pretty tough to get banned JUST for cloaking / IP Delivery. I think what Google really objects to is sending out spider food that is substancially different from a page’s content. If you want to use IP delivery for your flash site, or to highlight certain terms in the Title and H1s, odds are you’re going to be fine. Even sending out your paid content to the Googlebot, as the New York Times does, should not get you in hot water.

In fact, if you have paid subscription content and serve it to Google by cloaking and do get banned (and that’s the only Black Hat SEO you do), you could probably parlay it into some serious publicity because of the Google Hypocrisy.

It’s funny to still see people describe going outside of the Google Webmaster Guidelines as being “Unethical” as if Google is the final arbiter of Good, Evil and Morality. For those of you still in that camp, it’s time to wake up.

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2 Responses to “Google Bans NY Times For Cloaking!”

  1. anty says:

    ok, this fake headline trick will work only once on my site ;) I was like “finally they’ve done it!” but sadly it would be too good to be true :)

  2. [...] The debate over the New York Times’s tactics is sure to continue, however, perhaps with reference to an old cloaking uproar . [...]