Cloaking affiliate links is neither a bad practice or something to be frowned on.
Unfortunately the word “Cloak” has now been linked closely with black hat tactics and some people now question any time you mention the word Cloaking.
- post is to try and explain how affiliate cloaking works and the reaons for it as affiliate link cloaking serves two useful purposes.
- It allows you to have a link which appears aesthetically pleasing
- It allows you to protect your affiliate links from “Commission Thieves” or untrusting members of joe public who think it is a scam of some sort.
Now my affiliate link for the clickbank product domain dashboard for instance will appear as
This means that when someone clicks through the link and then clicks on the buy button I will recieve a commission from that sale.
Now clickbank adverts are pretty easy going as far as URL’s go but when you get further into affiliate marketing you may have 3 or even four parameters which you want passed along with a url.
You may have the domain
Then you will have the product which you are referring them to
Then you will have your tracking ID
You may have webtrends tags or other tracking so you know where your visitors are coming from and where your google adwords cash is best spent
So now your entire URL is
Now that URL is a scary URL to some web users and also a savvy web user may recognise the AFFID part as the affiliate link and for some reason people tend to strip out affiliate links when they buy things.
I have no idea why but it seems like your doing something wrong or getting a worse deal if someone is making money from your sale.
Also if I ever see an affiliate link I normally find out how to join and get the commissions myself.
There are a few options.
First get your affiliate link and make sure it is working ok
- you go to http://www.echoecho.com/toolbrowserredirect.htm and put the details of the affiliate link into each of the available slots so that the redirect will work for most browsers then you copy the code that is created and put it into the <head> tags in a new webpage.
Save that webpage as something easy to remember such as a.html and upload it to one of your sites.
For example that domain dashboard link I showed you higher up is now residing at
Much nicer URL if you ask me.
Another way of securing your affiliate commissions is to use Profit Protector. Its a fairly simple piece of software that is free and very effective.
First things first Download Profit Protector
Now you simply enter the Affiliate URL plus the name and title of your new page and click create.
Profit Protector does something that the redirect does not and that is when you redirect someone to the new affiliate page it load up the affiliate but keeps your URL in the top bar.
I believe this is using a full size frame to show the content but I am not sure. What I do know is that it works for protecting your affiliate commissions.
I will hopefully provide a few more tips on affiliate linking soon. Keep your eyes open