Unbelievable right ? Well you better believe it: Yahoo! Directory is cloaking, and is spamming :)
Cloaking the pages
I managed to see the above cloaking issue (first image is the normal content, second image the cloaked page) by changing my Firefox user-agent, to GoogleBot (using this simple Firefox User-agent extension). But you can see the cloaking by viewing the Google cache of any Yahoo! Directory page.
As you can see in the images above, Yahoo! Directory is delivering different content to search engine bots (GoogleBot in my example) and to usual visitors.
Make pages for users, not for search engines. Don’t deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users, which is commonly referred to as “cloaking.”
So what’s gone for the spiders ? The Yahoo logo, all the ads and the top bar with the login and other useful links.
“Spamming” and duplicat content
Ok .. I understand the cloaking, but spamming the search engines guys ? :D
Let’s search Google for “Seattle Metro Categories”. It’s pretty clear that we see :
Those pages have EXACTLY the same content. Yahoo! is now redirecting (using a 302 redirect, and how stupid is that ?) all the seattle. pages (and all the other tens of thousands of other duplicate pages) to the normal directory pages:
Server Response : seattle.yahoo.com
HTTP/1.0 302 Redirect
Location: http://dir.yahoo.com/Regional/U_S__States/Washington/ Metropolitan_Areas/Seattle_Metro/
Well, thank you Yahoo!. How many of those 5,020,000 pages from dir.yahoo.com are unique content ?