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All we know that Google will be looking more at cloaking in the first quarter of 2011. But, my client's website is serving content to the users based on the IP address. Now, I would like to know whether IP based content delivery be considered as Cloaking by Google. Or how Google is going to handle this issue??

Thanks, Parthipan.P

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If you are showing different content to users depending on their location, you need to make sure that you are showing Googlebot the same content as you would other users from the same location. As Googlebot generally crawls from a US-based IP-address, you would need to show it the same content as other US-based users would see.

From Google's point of view, showing users different content depending on their location is generally fine. Showing Googlebot one thing and showing all users something else would be different, considered cloaking and in violation of Google's webmaster guidelines.

  • Food for thought: how does google identify that? Do they crawl with another mechanism other than google bots? – Dave Dec 30 '10 at 14:30
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Showing different content based on IP can be considered cloaking. Redirecting user to different landing page is not.

To play safe I would recommend you to develop cookie based redirect, if no cookie set send user to his native language content other wise to his last language of choice.

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