Link Cloaking: Cloak and Dagger in Affiliate Marketing
By: Kathryn Beach
"Cloak and dagger" sounds like a joke, but it's truer than you
might like: if you don't cloak your affiliate links, you may get stabbed in
the back. If I were to advertise this link:
http://www.traffichoopla.com/cgi-bin/update.cgi/13196/ it would be very
easy for you to just cut it off after http://www.traffichoopla.com.
It wouldn't necessarily need to be a malicious act, maybe just laziness on
your part, but if this were a program where I got paid per click on my
affiliate link...I wouldn't get paid. If you slipped your own affiliate
username in the link, you would get paid. If I earned a commission on a
purchase, I wouldn't get it and you might.
There's another reason to cloak your links. If you're half the affiliate
that you should be, you are promoting your link all over the internet. But
as we all know, affiliate programs come and go, and so does our interest in
any particular program. What happens when you drop a program? You have to
scramble to find all the places online where your defunct url is residing,
so you can change it or remove it. Chances are they won't all be found.
You can use one of two ways to cloak a link that involve creating html
files, or you can use one of many services that cloak links for you. The
advantages to creating html files on your own domain is that you only need
to edit them when you drop an affiliate program, you get links back to your
domain, and you get page views that improve your Alexa rank.
You can go here to find the two kinds of html code to choose from:
There is also a list there of cloaking services if you decide to go that route.
No matter how you do it, cloaking your affiliate links will protect your
affiliate earnings and save you time and trouble in the long run.
© Kathryn Beach. All rights reserved.
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