What is a link cloaking?
The link cloaking is a black hat SEO technique used by some affiliates. They are hiding the true destination of hyperlink by making a short and pretty looking URL from a long one. The short URL impresses the visitors and by clicking on the link they are transferred to another website.
The link cloaking is provided because it is a friendly practice for a visitor, affiliate identity is hidden, it boosts a quality score and much more. Nevertheless, it is still a black hat technique.