Chapter 11. Cloaking, Geo-Targeting, and IP Delivery

Cloaking is defined as the practice of providing different content to a search engine spider than is provided to a human user. It is an extremely controversial technique in the realm of search engine optimization. And like most things controversial, cloaking can be used both constructively and destructively. It is discussed in depth in this chapter, along with a discussion of the controversy surrounding its use. Geo-targeting is a similar practice, but it provides different content to both spiders and users on the basis of their respective geographical regions — and its use is far less controversial. Both practices are typically implemented using a technology called IP delivery.

In this chapter, you:

  • Learn the fundamentals of cloaking, geo-targeting, and IP delivery.

  • Implement IP-delivery–based cloaking and geo-targeting in step-by-step exercises.

About Cloaking, Geo-Targeting, and IP Delivery

Before writing any code, make sure you understand several important definitions:

  • Cloaking refers to the practice of delivering different content to a search engine than to human visitors browsing a web site. In practice, cloaking is usually implemented through IP delivery. See for more details.

  • Geo-targeting is similar to cloaking in that it provides different content depending on the type of visitor — but this time by their physical location on Earth. Search engine spiders are not treated any differently than ...

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