In his latest video, Matt Cutts has told that Google is absolutely fine with Geolocation as long as you are treating Googlebot the same way you will be treating other users.
The question asked to Cutts was:
“Using Geo-detection technique is against Google, I am offering the useful information (price, USP’s) to the users based on the Geo-location, will Google consider this as a Spam i.e. showing X content to SE and Y content to user”.
Matt said that Geolocation is not spam as long as you are redirecting someone from a German IP to the German version of the page or German domain.
Cutts advised webmasters not to treat search engines in a different way from a regular user. If Googlebot comes in, check the IP address, and redirect Googlebot to the US version of the page or dot com or whatever you will serve to the regular US user.
Geolocation is not spam. And even Google does the same. It sends the user to what it thinks is the most appropriate page based on different signals and usually the IP address of the user.
Showing X content to SE and Y content to users is however cloaking. Showing different content to Googlebot than to users is something you should be careful about.
You will be totally fine and in good shape as long as:
- You are treating Googlebot as any other user
- You don't have special code that looks for the IP address of Googlebot
- You don’t have special code that looks for the user agent of Googlebot
To watch the video, click here.Geolocation is Not Spam as Long as you are Not Cloaking; Matt Cutts!,