Is link cloaking bad?
I currently use a link cloaking plugin on my site and love it b/c it keeps track of clicks as well as make the link look like it's a part of my site (ie:mysite.com/xyzlink).
But I've been thinking about it and would having links like this leave a negative impression to visitors? The link makes it look like they are being sent to another page on my site but they are really getting thrown to an outside product page. Wouldn't it be misleading or annoying to visitors?
Also -does Google view link cloaking negatively? are there any penatlies?
A lot of cloaking is seen as "black hat" SEO and is definitely seen as an issue by Google.
Here is a page on Google Webmaster Tools including a video by Matthew Cutts on cloaking that may interest you.
Website: Success With Money
"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
At least that is what I read
From what I read today, Google is releasing another update that will target black hat SEO techniques. Link cloaking is common among internet marketers (most of which are black hat entrepreneurs). I'd vote don't do it.