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Best Buy is Cloaking

BestBuy.com Cloaking
Today I discovered that Best Buy cloaks their product pages. I was searching for a Serial ATA PCI controller.

The Google search (the first result should be the Best Buy link)

Notice the URL for the product page:

Now click the link and notice that it redirects to the dynamic URL:

How did Google Get the Static URL?
Best Buy is cloaking via user agent. To see it in action enter the short static URL into my HTTP Response Viewer and select Googlebot for the user agent.

Notice that you get back HTML with all the product information.

Now enter the same URL into my response viewer *but* select a normal browser for the user-agent.

This time you get back a very short piece of HTML that does a meta refresh to the long dynamic URL. This is what the average Joe will land on.

It seems ridiculous for Best Buy to risk getting caught for cloaking when its so easy to simply use mod_rewrite to create static URLs.

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  1. Roger Wehbe
    April 13th, 2005 at 15:32 | #1

    That is funny… You know if they get banned for cloaking however… it would only be a matter of a few days before Google unbans them.. if this happened to a smaller site however… it would be months.. or years before this get’s fixed