Successfully Cloaking in 2013?

I am well-aware that Google’s algorithm is work in progress and they continuously work on improving their search quality algorithm. What I saw today, however, makes me wonder if I give the algorithm too much credit.
Search query “assumptious” brings up the following page:
Spammy Screenshot
I was shocked to see something like this ranking as #1 even for rare queries. This should not be ranking first after Panda and top heavy / layout algorithm update. After repeating the search I was given the full content page instead, which is also given to Google. Here’s the cached page:
Content Page
I asked one of my guys to check this search query as well and they got the content page first time indicating at a possibility of this being some form of sneaky A/B test.
Is this a common practice? I’d love to hear more from our readers.

Dan Petrovic, the managing director of DEJAN, is Australia’s best-known name in the field of search engine optimisation. Dan is a web author, innovator and a highly regarded search industry event speaker.

0 Points

2 thoughts on “Successfully Cloaking in 2013?”

  1. David says:

    Why do you think this has to be sneaky? Maybe it is just a test for a subscription model? (to estimate conversions…?).
    Nothing wrong with testing, I suppose. If they completely changed the page, it would still take Google a few days/weeks to downgrade the ranking.
    It would be assumptious to call this cloaking, no?

  2. Dejan SEO says:

    I’m with you. However if it’s a subscription model test then shouldn’t it be first view free instead of the other way around? I’d love to hear what a Googler has to say about this sort of test.