Thanks Marcia, I think we all know that Google can't just ban cloaked sites across the board, there are too many variables on cloaking and completely legitimate uses for it - some which I use on several of my own sites.
I wasn't pointing out that cloaked sites are in the index, I was stating my amazement at how they are getting high rankings.
Well that can't possibly be true. Regular spam 'infested' pages are not ranked highly. Keyword stuffing just doesn't work anymore.
I disagree, I think they've done very well in filtering through hidden links and link farms. I think they give too much emphasis on internal linking though as sites that build 1,000 pages just pointing internally anchored to one Affiliate Network Spam page seem to be ranking highly right now.
I realise that your statement was made well down the line in the discussion so I'll repeat my original message (though in future I recommend you read through a thread before posting):
"how come cloaked sites (the pages which are fed to the crawlers) have poor inbound links, low quality content, almost non-existent internal linking structure and yet they rank at the top? In my opinion, the pages that the cloaks feed to crawlers shouldn't rank highly even if they WERE the actual pages users were seeing!"
So you're derogatory statement shouldn't have been aimed at me. The pages (like I said, the top 20-30 in some instances) are poorly optimized, hardly ranked to, not internally themed or anchored either and yet they are ranking high. The only factor is the cloaking, for some reason it feels like Google is giving extra marks for cloaking!