Google Defines IP Delivery, Geolocation, & Cloaking

Maile Ohye at the Google Webmaster Central Blog has “defined” what Google considers to be IP delivery, geolocation, and cloaking.

On the geolocation front, Google recommends you treat “Googlebot as you would a typical user from a similar location.” So, if Googlebot’s IP is coming from California, then serve up the same page you would serve a web user from California. The same rule applies to IP delivery: serve the “same content a typical user from the same IP address would see” to Googlebot. Clearly, if you serve different content to Googlebot then you would a normal user, that would be cloaking and would go against Google’s guidelines. Finally, Google discusses the first click free program from Google News, where if you visit an article a second time, you would need to enter a password. When serving this content, you need to make sure the content is the same as when a normal user goes to the page.

Did Google really “define” what they think cloaking or IP delivery is? Well, if you consider a definition to remove any doubt or questions, then no. If you look at the related Google Groups thread, you can clearly see there is a lot of confusion and “what-ifs” in the thread. So although the post did clarify some issues to those who are unaware of the issues with IP delivery and its various forms, it did not necessarily cover every “what-if” scenario. Will it ever? I doubt it.

Here is an awesome video from Maile on IP delivery:

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: SEO | SEO: Cloaking & Doorway Pages | SEO: Spamming


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn


Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  


Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.

Comments are closed.

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest


Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States


Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech

Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!



Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide