22 November 2012

TweetDeck Redirects GoogleBot To Twitter.com - What's The Reason Behind It?

TweetDeck logo

Two Days Before, I have noticed that when you search for [tweetdeck] in Google TweetDeck.com doesn't display. If you do similar activity in Bing for [tweetdeck], TweetDeck.com does display. If you go on their site as a user to TweetDeck.com, the page does provide. So my question is why it is not displaying in Google? That similar question was asked In Google+. The reply is not that apparent, and it took a Googler to do some inspection work to search out why.

Google Tweet Deck Cloaking
Bing Tweet Deck Cloaking

John Mueller Google’s observed that When the Google bot enter TweetDeck.com. It is called requested to 301 redirect to Twitter.com. In a nutshell, it is only redirecting GoogleBot from TweetDeck.com to Twitter.

John explained:
It looks like they're doing this based on the user-agent. Checking with Googlebot shows the redirect:
$ curl -s -I -A Googlebot http://tweetdeck.com/ | grep -E "(HTTP|Location)" HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
Location: http://twitter.com/
Using "Bingbot" shows a 200 OK:
$ curl -s -I -A Bingbot http://tweetdeck.com/ | grep -E "(HTTP|Location)"
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Using "Slurp" shows the redirect again:
$ curl -s -I -A Slurp http://tweetdeck.com/ | grep -E "(HTTP|Location)"
HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
Location: http://twitter.com/
Theoretically there's also a chance that more is happening on an IP level, or that a very specific user-agent is being looked for, but if it's reacting based on a simplified user-agent like this, then I imagine that's what it's set up for. 

Anyone think that this is really cloaking? You can get more information about Google's definition and views on cloaking over here`

There are two questions in my mind:

  1. Why Google doesn’t take action against this move?
  2. Is Twitter doing this?