Many search engine users are naive to spammer tactics.
I don't click on those links. Why? Because last time I clicked one, I was infected with some sort of virus thing.
Nothing wrong with it according to Google. They even tell us to do it.
What page in that 32 page document does Google tell us to do this crap?
If your URL contains relevant words, this provides users and search engines with more information about the page than an ID or oddly named parameter would (2).
Are you referring to the above quote from the Google SEO Starter Guide? I don't see that much white space with that recommendation. It doesn't suggest using a long keyword laden URI separated by hyphens or whatever other separators one may use. Heck, lately, I've seen people using curly quotes in their URIs. Damn things break.
Those long keyword hyphenated file names are not friendly at all. Ya, I know, MC does it on his blog. So?!
Let's take a look at the example provided by Shatner. What's the first thing you see wrong with that URI? It exceeds 72 characters. Work with me here, I know, many URIs are longer than 72 characters. But, that doesn't make it friendly. The sample provided gets wrapped in plain text email set to 72 character width. < Ya, people still do that.
It ends up truncating in the middle of widgets. Many times, the </a> is closed at the break so you end up with a portion of the URI not clickable. In many cases there is no truncation algorithm so you end up with individual words being truncated. You know what that means, right? :)