Browse Definitions:
Definition

phantom page

A phantom page is a Web page that is optimized for search engines rather than for humans. Such optimization usually results in a great deal of keyword -heavy text that does not make sense to human readers. Phantom pages are generally created in multiples, as part of a shadow domain .

The practice of using phantom pages is sometimes referred to as page cloaking or black hat cloaking . Typically, the purpose of black hat cloaking is to artificially increase the SEO (search engine optimization) value of the owner's main website.

To use black hat cloaking, a site owner creates separate versions of site content: normal pages for humans and phantom pages for search engine spiders. The owner accesses a frequently updated list of bot IP addresses (which is how the site's servers identify them). If the owner is successful, the search engine bot is fooled by the phantom page and ranks the page and website higher than it would have based on the valid content. Based on the search rankings, the site gets more traffic than it would otherwise, although visitors may not be impressed by the quality of the website.

Webmasters also use cloaking for a variety of other reasons, including:

  • Removing extraneous components of URLs (such as tag s or user logins) for search engines.
  • Serving different content depending on user demographics.
  • Rebranding content according to the requester domain.
  • Optimizing for different browsers or browser features or capabilities.
  • Serving targeted information for the user's Operating System and/or browser.
  • For personalization .


Nevertheless, because the intent of cloaking is to subvert the search engine indexing system, the practice is considered unethical. Many search engine companies, including Google , penalize Web sites that create shadow domains.

This was last updated in November 2011

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

SearchSecurity

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • incident management plan (IMP)

    An incident management plan (IMP), sometimes called an incident response plan or emergency management plan, is a document that ...

  • crisis communication

    Crisis communication is a method of corresponding with people and organizations during a disruptive event to provide them with ...

  • Zerto

    Zerto is a storage software vendor that specializes in enterprise-class business continuity and disaster recovery in virtual and ...

SearchStorage

  • SSD write cycle

    An SSD write cycle is the process of programming data to a NAND flash memory chip in a solid-state storage device.

  • data storage

    Data storage is the collective methods and technologies that capture and retain digital information on electromagnetic, optical ...

  • hard disk

    A hard disk is part of a unit -- often called a disk drive, hard drive or hard disk drive -- that stores and provides relatively ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close