In a thread from 2002 (http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum24/359-2-15.htm),
Volatilegx said this about cloaking for Google:
"The primary reason I don't recommend cloaking to Google, is that even if you are not penalized, it doesn't do much good. Since pagerank is the primary factor in obtaining a decent ranking for your chosen keywords, the doorway page technique that cloaking proponents usually use is not very effective.
With the rise of Google, cloaking is just not as necessary as it used to be in SEO. I would say it's more of a usability issue now, and that the future of cloaking will be to provide content customized for various browsers, platforms, etc."
I'm curious as to whether this still is the case? It would seem to be a redundant technique for ranking purposes to get tons of links to a shadow domain to rank for your main site. Why not just get tons of links to your main site?
Or is there some kind of benefit from an anchor text standpoint?
I guess it could be argued that if you have hundreds of shadow domains on seperate IPs then they pass some good page rank. On the other hand, you don't need to cloak to make these kinds of 'link farms'.
I guess my question is not does cloaking work, but Why Does It Work.