In a nutshell, cloaking is when a user will see different information on a webpage compared to the search engines when they come and crawl the website. This is also known as a blackhat technique which is something the search engines DON’T advise.
So why do webmasters use clocking…
Webmasters usually use cloaking to achieve better rankings in the search engines by stuffing the page with keywords with poorly written content which is not aimed at the user.
How can I find out if a website is using the cloaking method?
Typically, the easiest way is by using the user agent string so the website you’re visiting thinks your Google. Or you can use this great tool by click here.
What should I do if my website has cloaking?
I would recommend that your report this to your webmaster and then submit a reconsideration request to Google so you avoid any penalties.
What happens if I get caught?
As mentioned above, the risk could be a penalty or blacklisted, and in my opinion once a website has been penalised by Google, it will always struggle in terms of future SEO efforts.
Image from SXC.hu