When one of your cloaked pages is viewed, either by a human surfer or by a search engine robot, a log entry is made. You can find some useful information in the logs when you review them.
A robot entry is made when a search engine robot views a cloaked page. Here is a sample robot entry:
# 03/19/2003, 7:55 -- 126.96.36.199 -- Googlebot/2.1 (+http://www.googlebot.com/bot.html) -- Google NOARCHIVE -- some-cloaked-page.htm --
There are several parts to this log entry, which are explained below:
The "#" symbol indicates that this log entry is a robot entry.
The date of the entry comes next, displayed as month/day/year, hour:minute.
The IP address of the robot is displayed next. In some cases, the hostname of the robot will be displayed instead.
The User Agent of the Robot is displayed next. In the example above, we can tell the robot belongs to the Google search engine.
Next is a special message indicating that the NOARCHIVE meta tag was inserted into the page shown to the robot. Occasionally you'll see a special message inserted here.
Next is the name of the cloaked page which was viewed.
After the last two dashes is displayed the referring URL. In the example above, there is no referring URL. Most search engine robots do not give a referring URL, so you won't usually see one in a robot entry.
A human entry is made in your log when a human surfer views a cloaked page, or when an unknown spider visits the page. Here is an example:
03/19/2003, 8:42 -- 188.8.131.52 -- Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.5; Windows NT 5.0) -- some-cloaked-page.htm -- http://search.msn.com/results.aspx?srch=105&FORM=AS5&q=cloaking+software
The first thing displayed is the date, again in the format month/day/year, hour:minute.
Next is the IP address or hostname of the person viewing the cloaked page.
Next is the User Agent of the browser the person is using to view the cloaked page. If the User Agent appears to be a search engine or appears suspicious to you, it would be a good idea to report the log entry to IPLists.com to see if it is a search engine robot on a new IP address. There is an Options setting which will cause the cloaking software to send you an email when a known search engine robot visits on an unknown IP address.
Next is the name of the cloaked page which was visited.
Finally, you'll see the referring URL. This is a very important item. It is likely that the human viewing your cloaked page found it by searching on a search engine. In many cases you can extract the keywords they used in their search by looking at the referring URL. In the example above the person was searching at MSN.com for "cloaking software" (no quotes). If you were to paste this URL into your browser, many times you would see the results of their search (this depends on the search engine).
© 2002 Volatile Graphix, Inc. KloakIt™ is a trademark of Volatile Graphix, Inc.