At the Google Webmaster Central Blog, Google has released some valuable information about webserving techniques, especially related to Googlebot. This post has been written keeping in mind the numerous information requests that Google had received for IP Delivery, Geo Location and Cloaking techniques.
- Geolocation: It is the process of serving targeted or different content to users on the basis of their locations. Webmasters have the tools to determine a user's location from preferences stored in their cookies. This information is related to the user's login or their IP address. Such as, if your website is about theater, then you can always use geolocation techniques to highlight Broadway for a user in New York.
- IP Delivery: It is the process of serving targeted or different content to users on the basis of their IP address. IP addresses are meant to provide geographic information. IP delivery is quite similar to geolocation, therefore, the techniques are almost the same.
- Cloaking: It is the method (unethical though) of serving different content to users than to Googlebot. However, this step is considered to be unethical and Google Webmaster Guidelines prohibit Webmasters from using it. If the file that Googlebot crawls is different from the file served to the user then a Webmaster is coined as being in a high-risk category. A program such as md5sum or diff can compute a hash to verify that two different files are identical.
- First Click Free: If the Webmasters follow Google First Click Free Policy. Then they would be able to include their premium or subscription-based content in Google's websearch index without violating Google's quality guidelines. Webmasters can allow all users who find their page using Google search to see the full text of the document, even if they have not registered or subscribed. The user's first click to the content area is free. But, if the user jumps to another section of the website, then a Webmaster can block the user's access to the premium or subscribed content with a login or a payment request.
There is also a thread at the Webmaster Help Group, that would be quite interesting for all the Webmasters out there.