Google Bans itself for Cloaking? - ROTFLMAO!

19 comments
Thread Title:
Google Cloaking and Keyword Loading On Pages
Thread Description:

Further to Adam_C's discovery that Google were cloaking, their unofficial rep chooses a safe haven to make his excuses in this wmw thread - He says they've removed the pages, and will have to file for a reinclusion.

I assume he's joking, funniest thing i've read in a long time heh...

GG says ...

Hey everyone, I'm sorry that it took me a while to post about this. I wanted to make sure I completely understood what was going on first.

Those pages were primarily intended for the Google Search Appliances that do site search on individual help center pages. For example, http://adwords.google.com/support has a search box, and that search is powered by a Google Search Appliance. In order to help the Google Search Appliance find answers to questions, the user support system checked for the user agent of "Googlebot" (the Google Search Appliance uses "Googlebot" as a user agent), and if it found it, it added additional information from the user support database into the title.

The issue is that in addition to being accessed via the internal site-search at each help center, these pages can be accessed by static links via the web. When the web-crawl Googlebot visits, the user support system thinks that it's the Google Search Appliance (the code only checks for "Googlebot") and adds these additional keywords.

That's the background, so let me talk about what we're doing. To be consistent with our guidelines, we're removing these pages from our index. I think the pages are already gone from most of our data centers--a search like [site:google.com/support] didn't return any of these pages when I checked. Once the pages are fully changed, people will have to follow the same procedure that anyone else would (email webmaster at google.com with the subject "Reinclusion request" to explain the situation).

NB: The top paragraph of this post was put in by Nick W

Comments

The real story is being missed

I think the jolly laughter is obscuring the real story behind this debacle. Google are having to keyword stuff just so their own support staff can find information.

Highlights the weakness of the Google algo

As NFFC points out

Quote:
Google are having to keyword stuff just so their own support staff can find information.

Just think of those poor punters out there trying to find information on the ubiquitous widgets they are trying to buy. Seems that G will only serve up results where the web site owner has, ahem, taken the trouble to nudge their algo.

But there again we have all known that for a long time

Mark Jen

Didn't Mark Jen comment also on the plex being disorganised on the inside?

As was raised at WMW, seems odd that they would use the keyword stuffing in the titles, rather than in meta tags - especially as it should have been patently obvious that when Googlebot is allowed to index those pages, they will show on Google search.

How Odd

I find it quite odd that GG would post a response over there where there was little said with not much attention, but zippo response here? I mean everyone's pointing to threadwatch in their blogs and on the forums - it's on fire everywhere. I really would have thought he'd want to make sure his response was part of the discussion here, because this was where it all started and where the eyeballs are being directed to. Wouldn't you want your response to be right where the source was?

I find that very odd.

GG is playing to the audience

I don't blame GG for not posting here any more, there isn't the unquestioning blind loyalty here that there is in other forums.

Where??

> there isn't the unquestioning blind loyalty here that there is in other forums.

I am sorry, but I can't find any such unquestioned blind loyalty to Google anywhere these days. Where did you find that??

Heh, you are right Mikkel

Perhaps I ought to have said that TW members have a more critical/cynical approach than others? :O)

Cloaking as optional function?

What I find even more interesting here is that Google apparently have build in cloaking functionality in their own systems! The question remain: Why should we not then?

Note this part of GoogleGuys comment:

In order to help the Google Search Appliance find answers to questions, the user support system checked for the user agent of "Googlebot" (the Google Search Appliance uses "Googlebot" as a user agent), and if it found it, it added additional information from the user support database into the title.

It sure looks like they have all bots as optional check boxes and can ahmm "sdjust" content for each bot. Now if thats not cloaking I don't know what is.

So, the question still remain: Why did they build in that function? Such functions just don't build themselves

and...

as NFFC pointed out, why would they require such a function for finding their own pages?

Jedi Mind Tricks

You don't need to change your user agent ...

These aren't the cloaks you're looking for ...

Move on about your business ...

Remember Jedi mind tricks only work on the weak minded

Quote:
These aren't the cloaks you're looking for ...

Move on about your business ...

Good one, gw. And dead-on.

Is the GSA that bad?

Quote:
In order to help the Google Search Appliance find answers to questions, the user support system checked for the user agent of "Googlebot" (the Google Search Appliance uses "Googlebot" as a user agent), and if it found it, it added additional information from the user support database into the title.

Doesn't that imply that the search appliance is incapable of determining the relevance of a document without a bit of help?

I think more telling is they

I think more telling is they felt the need to cloak for only changing the title. I don’t think people really notice what is happening high up in the left hand side of the computer. Well back off to over optimizing my title tags.

Danny Sullivan to name GoogleGuy, unless they do

Report at SEW labeled "Google admits to cloaking: bans itself" suggests that G come clean on actually naming GoogleGuy as their official spokesperson.

Quote:
By the way, GoogleGuy is indeed a real Google employee that you can trust as speaking for Google, even though as I've also written before, comments he makes have been sometimes said to be unofficial in nature.

Confusing? Yep, it is. I've also written before that it's time for the lid to come off GoogleGuy's identity. That's especially so if Google's going to continue releasing official information about controversial topics such as cloaking or nofollow via forums, blog entries and so on in this way. The company needs to finally identify the person behind the nickname, so that the general public doesn't have to wonder if it's really Google talking. I've had reporters ask me in the past how they can know the person is real; John Battelle on his blog wondered the same earlier this year after getting a GoogleGuy comment:

Quote:
Hopefully, we'll see Google finally identify GoogleGuy so there's no confusion that he does speak for the company. If not, and if we have to keep getting "official" information in this "non-official" way, I'll simply out him myself.

yeah

I think when i've had a fag break, i might post a new one on that.

Back in the misty recesses of TW, i outed him at least 3 times - but no one was watching then :)

Searching

i outed him at least 3 times

Wasn't hard to find using a site:threadwatch.org search ;-)

D'oh

And I was all pleased with myself for thinking I knew a secret ;O)

Fun while it lasted!

The real GG

Has that been confirmed? (I ran the same search)

If it's true, it's certainly not surprising.

Thank heavens for Google

I'm guaranteed at least one huge giggle a day.

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