Experts Exchange are cloaking asshats

It’s rare that I get personally frustrated by cloaking. After all, I expect those types of shenanigans from Web -2.0 companies like the New York Times.

But Experts Exchange? Holy crap, do they expect to not just frustrate people by literally scrambling the text of answers until you register?

An [screenshot of scrambling shenanigans]( ([Actual URL](
Experts Exchange ROT13 Scrambling Shenanigans

See how they cleverly position a semi-transparent GIF over the scrambled text to heighten the illusion of inconvenience? Of course, if we delve deeper we learn that the scrambled text is using a highly idiotic encryption cipher, [ROT13](

No, no, they save the really clever programming for the cloaking of the unscrambled content to search engines. Oh yeah, [***that’s*** what that page is supposed to look like]( I guess Googlebot forked over the $12.95 a month to see giant animated banner ads for eBay and MSN Live.

Let’s face it, Experts Exchange has always been a horrific hodgepodge of self-advertisements. I’m quite certain the first dozen or so times I visited the site I never even finished the multipage scrolling trek to the first “comment,” thinking the site only existed to offer “questions” while cross-promoting it’s other services. Even the new redesign is still chock full o’ self-love.

If I had more time I’d write the Greasemonkey script to disable that transparent gif and rot13 the comments back to being readable. But, honestly, I think I’d rather just never visit their site again.

Good luck with your re-design Experts Exchange!