Why are affiliate marketers advised to cloak their affiliate links? |
1. To protect themselves from link hijackers who switch their affiliate ID for yours before they buy the product,
2. To reduce the number of buyers who cut off the affiliate portion of a link thinking they'll get a better deal without it.
Marketed to affiliate marketers as a deterent to commission theft, there are many software programs available that will cloak your affiliate links. In my experience, many affiliate networks and/or vendors' affiliate tracking programs either don't recognize the links in a cloaked page or they don't allow cloaking. If you do use them, however, first click on the link to make sure it goes where intended and then, check your vendor's stats to make sure your click-through was recorded. Do NOT assume the software distributor's assurance that the program works means that it is universally accepted. Chances are, it is not! Also, when an affiliate network says you MAY NOT change anything in the link, they mean it. Use info like this to determine if you want to join that network.
Rather than a cloaked page, we recommend that you use a simple redirect page. If your vendor changes your link or stops selling the product and you have posted it to a blog, Twitter or included it in an ebook, every one of them will become a dead link. If instead of a cloaked link you use a redirect link, you can change it to another product in minutes.
And thieves cannot strip your affiliate link from it since the link in it does not show. But when your redirect page is clicked, your link code is visible in the address bar and in your vendor's tracking program. As above, check your stats.
We also suggest that in saving your redirect pages you give them names you recognize but starting with the same letter i.e. xfins.html, xcards.html, xobjn.html and so on. The preceding x allows for easy searching as it keeps them together in your index.
To see how to convert your affiliate code into a simple redirect page, please click here.