September 10th, 2008 by CarstenCumbrowski | 14 Comments
Brian Klais wrote in June, 2008 in his post “Amazon’s Secret to Dominating SERP Results” at the Natural Search Blog about how Amazon.com leverages the inbound links of their vast number of affiliates for their organic SEO advantage by 301-redirecting BOTs for the URLs that include the affiliate tracking code to the single primary URL of the same page that they want to be indexed by the search engines.
Some folks think that what Amazon.com is doing violates the Google Webmaster Guidelines, because what they do is a special kind of cloaking, but I would argue that. The webpage where the bots and the user end up are the same. Amazon is not deceiving anybody, not the users and not the bots either. If you 301 only bots and not everybody who access your site via YourDomain.com to www.YourDomain.com to prevent duplicate indexing of your website homepage and PageRank leakage, is that cloaking? Is it unethical? I am sure that most people would agree with me when I say that it is not. So technically everything should be cool and peachy, or shouldn’t it?