SEO Cloaking Checker: Is Your Site Cloaking?
Cloaking is a practice where the information your website sends to a search engine crawler or computer differs from the information a user would see when they click on your website. Google and other search engines consider this a deceptive practice because it tries to “trick” search engine algorithms to give you a higher search ranking than your site may deserve. The content your website presents to users should not differ from the content it presents to a search engine computer or crawler.
If you have hired an SEO company to improve your search engine optimization, it is important that your SEO company use approved methods to improve your rankings. However, sometimes methods are used which are not approved by search engines, like Google. When SEO methods are used that are in violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines or best practices, websites can get penalized or banned (blacklisted, and removed from indexing). This means that your site might no longer rank highly or might not appear in search at all. Some tactics are not in accordance with Google or search engine best practices. Some of these tactics include cloaking, link schemes, using too many keywords or using keywords that aren’t related to your content. While some of these tactics might get you good ranks initially, they can hurt you later if Google or other search engines discover that either you or your SEO company was using them. This is why it is important to work with an SEO company that only uses “white hat” or Google-approved methods, and best practices when implementing SEO techniques. Good website design, good metadata, strong content, and a user-friendly approach to web content that considers the needs of your customer may take longer to get results, but when the results appear, they are more likely to be long-lasting. Digital Age Marketing Group works with customers and websites to help them improve their websites and SEO using best practices suggested by Google and other leading search engines. Contact our firm today to learn about how we might be able to help you get top organic search results for your company or website.
What is Cloaking?
One practice that can result in your site getting penalized by Google is if your site uses “cloaking.” According to Google, “cloaking” is when a website appears differently to Google’s web crawler than it appears to users searching the web for content or information. Google provides one example of cloaking as providing text to Google’s search crawlers while showing users a website of flash video to the user. If you have a website that is heavy in video content, it is important that you understand Google’s best practices and employ them so that your website doesn’t get penalized for cloaking. Your content—all of it—should be visible and useful to users. If you have concerns about cloaking or have questions about SEO best-practices, consider reaching out to Digital Age Marketing Group, a full-service online marketing firm.
Avoid Deceptive Practices: Provide Useful Content
Cloaking is considered deceptive by Google and other search engines because it presents one story to the search engine crawlers that index the site and another story entirely to the users visiting your website. SEO-friendly text might be hidden entirely from users. Hiding text from users is never a good idea and should never be done. Generally, when you are thinking about Search Engine Optimization for your website, you want to provide informative content for your users. When designing your website and when considering your content calendar, you’ll want to think about what’s best for your users. Strong SEO doesn’t involve “tricks” but requires a careful consideration of your market, the needs of your users, and an understanding of the questions your users are asking and the information they need to know. Find ways to make your website different from the competition, or think of ways to provide industry-leading information.
What are some ways to improve SEO without cloaking or without resorting to tricks? Create great content. Hire an SEO company that is able to get your website innovative and interesting content. Find the best writers, or take the time to think of great topics that will set your website apart as a leader in your field. Hire an SEO company that is able to consider the keywords that your users will be searching for and create content tailored to these searches. Updating content regularly is also important to SEO.
Having the right metadata is also important as is having the right alt tags. Structure and design your website so that it is easier for the Google search engines to crawl. Creating linkable and likeable content is also another great and organic way to drive traffic to your site and increase your site’s rankings. Social media can also increase your rankings organically especially when it is integrated into your site’s overall content strategy. If you have questions about SEO-best practices, consider contacting Digital Age Marketing Group today. Our SEO utilizes best-practices. We take the time to understand your audience, consider what they are searching for, and create compelling content that meets your customers where they are looking for you.