WebmasterWorld Cloaking Links for PageRank?


So there I was on my first day back to work for a while surfing around like normal and I suddenly realised I had left my User Agent Switcher for Firefox turned on.

I was still set as GoogleBot - Dohhh!!!

But then I noticed something interesting. While I was over at Brett's place, Web Master World I saw that he was link cloaking.

At the bottom of every page Brett normally has a link to his web host. This used to be WestHost but since his recent down time and hosting arrangement changes it is now Rack Space

Except it isn't, at least in GoogleBot's eyes, as it seems Brett has dived back over to the dark side. In fact despite protestations to the contrary it seems that rather than squashing spam, Matt had it right the first time. He is embracing it as the links that GoogleBot sees are for Brett's Search Engine World site.

The same thing is happening with the sponsors links at the top of the page.


I know he likes to cloak for

I know he likes to cloak for the login/page thing over there, but this is a new one on me.

It gel's with rumours that he's "itching" to get into new forums though....

Brett's always cloaked for

Brett's always cloaked for WebmasterWorld. I am surprised you didn't know this before.


The issues is not that he cloaks, its that he's hiding links from bots

Don't get me wrong, I don't

Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with cloaking.

I am surprised this is even posted as a thread. Brett has made no bones about the fact that he has cloaked WebmasterWorld and even that he doesn't link out. If you notice, all links in his posts go through a redirect.

I guess I don't understand why it surprises anyone that he is hiding links from bots? Seems like a smart thing to do, as links are gold.


True enough he has always been upfront about it. It does seem odd though that he would hide the link to his host.

God Jason, you have keen eyesight..

..or you knew what you were looking for

.. or your software highlights changes in codings

I just looked at that and don't think I would have noticed the change, unless you had pointed it out.

Didn't somebody once refer

Didn't somebody once refer to this as Brett's "gentle" cloaking for Google?

Sebastian has a nice tool

Sebastian has a nice tool for viewing as googlebot - it was included in the original post, but i removed it thinking Jason had lost his mind and was pointing out cloaking at that site heh..

sorry jason, i got the wrong end of the stick there..


The same thing is happening with the sponsors links at the top of the page.

wonder if they might have a problem with this.

it used to be intimated that one of the benefits of signing up was the ability to post a site url in your personal profile. except i noticed that the version seen by google was always wrong in the snippets displayed by google. of course, since google did not cache the page, it was impossible to view the cached version.

Seems like a smart thing to do, as links are gold.

What's good for the goose, etc. Which is exactly why I go through the contortions of using things like WMW and *G*. It may be gold, but still rather selfish.

>>links Personally I think


Personally I think that's all wrong. That dinasoar has been losing influence for years - the walled garden approach is not wanted, welcome or desireable any longer. The strategy is as outdated as the source code.

Still, i'll bet he's making more money than me, so who am I to talk? :)

Come on Nick

Tell us what you REALLY think...

Hey Nick

Hey Nick, money is so Web1.0. TW is all about community!

I wonder how much those remaining 404s are costing?

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