The fact that the gnines took awhile to "catch on" to these spam machines nver meant they were "OK" with them. Cloakers can (and in some cases, still do) also rank well in many engines - but they were never considered "ok".
Of course they were/are. They stand to make a bundle by selling these things (or are simply doing abother "guru" a favor by endorsing it, which they will return by endorsing THAT person's next "great thing".
The only thing that has reall y stood the test of time for me. Aside from occasional blips due to some kind of glitch in the algo/crawling activity, etc.....my content based sites maintain stable rankings for years.