Does the geared head help align panoramas?
Well no, not properly. Although, I'm sure there's some kind of technique. I think for real panos you need a special head/rail system. (Someone chime in here if I'm wrong. I don't shoot many panos.)
For simple panos, you can use the TS-E with great effect. Simply rotate the base of the TS-E so the Shift becomes a horizontal movement. (You may want to rotate the Tilt movement back to the standard position for downward tilt to extend DOF. Else, you'll have "Swing" movements left and right along the vertical axis.)
With horizontal Shift, you'll have parallax-free movement up to 12-degrees in either direction from center. With some simple stitching or Auto-Align Layers in Ps...you can create a pretty convincing pano!