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Reverse IP Cloaking

Or, How to reverse Internet Protocol Cloaking caused by Negligence

Black Hat SEO may be performed with intent or it may be caused by negligence. Search engines don’t differentiate.

Lately, The Elementary Group has been requested for consultation about the lack of search engine results or the disappearance of search results after site migration to a new server. After analysis, it was found that SEO efforts were sufficient but search engines could not resolve Domain Name Systems (DNS) with Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. That’s where IP cloaking commonly begins.

The DNS stores and associates many types of information with domain names, but most importantly, it translates domain names (computer hostnames) to IP addresses. For querying purposes, at each step along the way, the program queries a corresponding DNS server to provide a pointer to the next server which it should consult. However, if that pointer (PTR) is blank or misdirected, search engines—Often—regard that site as cloaked.

What to do?

Here’s a simple method.

Visit Whois lookup and Domain name search and enter the domain name, e.g., “elementary-group-standards.com”. The following section will appear. Then, select “D”. That will take you to the DNS analysis results.

Elementary Standards Whois

The DNS Lookup results will show the site’s IP address for that particular domain name.

Elementary Standards DNS

The simple explanation. The “PTR” or, pointer should have the domain name. Or, at least, a domain name which—Eventually—resolves to the actual domain name that was first entered in Whois. It’s complex. Or, it can be complicated by server administrators.

However, should the domain name be missing from the Answer Section PTR, it will resolve back to the hosting company and its server. Example: If “elementary-group-standards.com” had been missing from the above, search engines would have believed that the site was part of Media Temple, i.e., IP 71.78.70.216.

And, that’s considered cloaking by search engines.

The sites on which we worked had search engine difficulties because their domain name was missing. Server administrators were contacted and sent screenshots of the DNS Lookup page. [Note: Screenshots are far more precise that explanations.]

The hosting companies server administrators fixed things. Those sites were saved.

I don’t recommend cloaking. But. If you want to use Black SEO, the very authoritative SEO Black Hat: SEO Blog is an excellent resource. Still. It seems server administrators are in cahoots with Black Hat SEOs (if only from negligence).


Sean Fraser posted this on October 14, 2006 09:58 AM.

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The Elementary Standards: A Compendium of Web Standards, CSS, Linguistics and Search Engine Optimization methodology Copyright ©2005-2007 Sean Fraser. All work is published under a Creative Commons License. All Rights Reserved.

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