30 Dec '15, 12pm

Google: You Can Cloaking Your XML Sitemap Files

Google's John Mueller in a long Google Hangout yesterday said that it is not problematic to cloak your XML sitemap file to search engines. The reason is, the XML Sitemap files are meant to only be seen by search engines and not users, so cloaking them differently for users makes no sense. You can change them up for GoogleBot versus Yahoo, Bing, etc - there is no issue with that. John said this at the 19:30 mark into the video. The question was: As a way to deal with scrapers, I'd like to add X-Robots-Tag to my XML sitemaps, and then permit crawling only to googlebot and some other creditable crawlers, but not to rogue crawlers nor any users. Can it be perceived as cloaking? John's answer: No. I don’t think that would be in any way problematic. With sitemap files you can even cloak them directly to search engines. That is something that we would explicitly allow. Where if y...

Full article: https://www.seroundtable.com/google-cloak-xml-sitemap-fil...

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