I'm not OP, but I think I can answer this. Yes, it still works. But mostly people don't like black hat SEO and prefer white hat SEO. Also there is "gray" SEO which is between black and white. As an example, you can take crowd marketing. Yes, this is a spam, but if it's high quality natural links it's not a COMPLETE spam. At least, you can fool Google bots this way. If your text with link makes sense, Google doesn't consider it as a spam. I used to crowd marketing not so long ago and it helped my site.