Cloaking in the context of digital marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) refers to a deceptive technique where the content presented to the search engine spider is different from that presented to the user’s browser. This is done with the intention of manipulating search engine rankings by making the content appear more relevant to certain keywords. It can involve serving a page of HTML text to search engines, while showing a page of images or Flash to users. Cloaking is considered a violation of search engine guidelines, as it provides users with different results than they expected. If detected, it can lead to a site being penalized or banned from the search engine’s index. The practice is generally frowned upon in the SEO community because it undermines the integrity of search results and can lead to a poor user experience. Instead, marketers and webmasters are encouraged to focus on creating quality content that is consistent for all users and search engines.

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