So what is cloaking? How can it help me?

"Cloaking" simply means delivering one page to real users, and a different page to search engine spiders. Remember, search engines send out their pesky little spiders, such as Google's "Googlebot", to crawl the Web and index what they find. By delivering a different page to the search engines, you can more precisely control what the engines will index.

Often, cloaking involves setting up many different cloaked pages for the search engines. Real users, when they click on these pages in the search engine indexes, will be invisibly redirected to another URL. This way, you have dozens of pages that are indexed in the engine, and all of them redirect real users to the same affiliate URL.

Does this mean more traffic?

Yes! Cloaking helps you get many, many pages indexed in the search engines. Instant Optimizer, for example, helps you create 100s of interlinked pages, all of them optimized for your site, for particular keywords. You can then choose a particular URL that real users will be redirected to.

But isn't cloaking "unethical and unfair"?

If you set-up lots of cloaked pages that redirect end-users to pages totally unrelated to the listing they clicked on in the engines, well, that's pretty devious.

But, more and more, the search engines require such bizarre content to rank well that cloaking is all but required. For example, if you have a site that consists largely of graphics, well, tough luck, you won't get any listings.

Even Google has recently been accused of cloaking -- several of their pages were found to have different content for search engine spiders than for real users. Even many major Web sites "cloak" -- they often deliver the actual content of Members' Areas to the spiders, yet, when a real user clicks on the link, they are taken to a "Members Only" sign-up area.

Look, in my mind, what is "unfair" is that Google, and the other engines, ultimate are kingmakers in terms of traffic. Increasingly, they funnel traffic to their top sponsors, or they adopt punitive indexing schemes that favor "big Daddy" corporations, rather than the little guy. Cloaking helps you level the playing field, by creating a multiple of pages that are maximized for the engines and which redirect to the home page of your choice. Now, with cloaking, your small site can appear 100-times larger to the engines.

Black Hat Cloaker