PHP is server side and all Googlebot would see is the output HTML, right?

if (strpos($_SERVER[‘HTTP_USER_AGENT’],"Googlebot")) { // do some functionality }
  • Yes because they send out SpyBots to fetch your site without using the user agent 'Googlebot' and compare the results.
    – Chloe
    Jan 29, 2015 at 1:26

1 Answer 1


Defeating this is easy and has nothing to do with doing this on the server side. All they have to do is compare a page that you serve to the Googlebot user agent and one to a bot or human that is not. The pages will be different and you will be caught and penalized for cloaking. It's that simple.

  • 3
    In fact, Google has been hitting sites from outside of their network for a vary long time for just this purpose.
    – closetnoc
    Jan 28, 2015 at 2:47
  • 1
    I just want to put a link to a website on a site I built, nothing sinister everyone can get off their knees from praying to the almighty G
    – albo
    Jan 28, 2015 at 18:06

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