“IP” stands for “Internet Protocol”. “IP cloaking” is a technical trick designed to deliver different Web pages from the same Web address, depending on whether the visitor’s IP is from a search engine spider or from someone else. If the IP is from a search engine, the server feeds a highly-optimized page. Otherwise it delivers a regular page such as the Home page. IP cloaking is also known as “IP spoofing” or “IP delivery”.

IP cloaking is often abusive in how it attempts to manipulate a search index. Some practitioners develop hundreds of IP-cloaked pages using software. Since IP cloaking hides content, pages optimized around irrelevant key phrases are often developed. Consequently search engines routinely purge IP-cloaked pages and will ban these domains from their indexes.