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How Cloaking Can Take Your Business Out of Google Search

Cloaking in SEO terms is used to describe when a server uses the same URL to show a search engine crawler one particular webpage version while at the same time displaying a different webpage to human visitors.

This black hat SEO tactic is used as a deliberate and deceptive ploy, designed to increase a webpage's ranking position. Google and other search engine providers consider this form of search engine optimization to be a violation of regulations.

Google may issue a penalty in this instance due to attempts to mislead and misinform the user. This also harms the perceived accuracy of the search engine and experience of the user, as they may be directed to a page that is incorrect or misleading.

Google will offer a warning and allow for time to correct the issue, however, once Google marks your site as being an untrustworthy source of rich snippets, it is difficult for your website to regain the use of rich snippets from Google.



If you have received a manual action penalty for having unnatural links pointing to your website, you need to follow these steps:

  • Create a backlink profile so you can see all your backlinks. There are a few tools you can use to do this, including Webmaster Tools like Ubersuggest and Majestic SEO. This could be quite a job if you have a large site, so it is best to focus your energies on locating unnatural site-wide links


  • Identify the unnatural links by working out which links could be considered manipulative, or that you would be unlikely to keep if it were a no-follow. Once you have done this, list them all in a spreadsheet so you have a clear view of all unnatural links


  • Remove the links! If you have been penalized for unnatural links, then you must remove them. This can be particularly stressful as you may have no control over the pages linking to you. In most cases, it will be a case of removing the linked page from your website, or 404 the page so the links become disavowed. If you do have control over the linked page, then simply edit and remove the links yourself.


  • Use the Disavow Links tool to tell Google to ignore certain links. This is a last resort to use only if you have trouble getting a number of unnatural links disavowed. If you have emailed webmasters to remove links to no avail, this can be your final port of call


  • File a Reconsideration Request. After you have removed as many unnatural links as you can, it is time to file a request for Google to reconsider the penalty. You will need to prove to Google that you have made every effort to remove these links; provide them with a Google Doc of your efforts (including a list of links you submitted to the Disavow Links tool if necessary). You can also explain to them how you intend on reducing the chance of unnatural links in the future.


Source: (ionos.co.uk) (bewonderful.co.uk) (gravytrain.co.uk)

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