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In the area of Affiliate marketing, another term comes in field is affiliate link cloaking. Link cloaking is a method used to make a long affiliate URL link into a shorter one. It is very popular term for bloggers to have affiliate links on their blog. The affiliate links are usually impossible to remember all the time without copy/paste. Cloaking allows you to create short URL’s that are memorable and allow you to access affiliate links easily.

What is cloak link?

With the help of cloak link you can create URL’s on your website that redirects the site to an affiliate link.

Check out the following instance:

This is the affiliate link of techblogcorner.com without cloaking:

http://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=875645&u=971305&m=41388&urllink=&afftrack=

This is the affiliate link of techblogcorner.com after cloaking:

http://techblogcorner.com/goto/wpengine

The above both links go to the same landing page as well as track my affiliate cookies too.

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Why should every affiliate cloak their affiliate links?

There are some basic reasons behind that why I think that link cloaking is important for every affiliate.

  1. Centralized management: Sometimes the user has to make some changes in their affiliate links. So if you try to change them in more than one place than it makes a disaster, so link cloaking gives you a centralized management.
  2. Avoid search ranking penalties: Google always rank up the sites on the basis of its popularity. However, Google doesn’t consider affiliate links a good measure, as these links are pointing to the sites only for the money making purpose. Therefore, all the affiliate links to be coded with rel=nofollow parameter by Google if you will code each link manually.
  3. Improved link tracking: Link cloaking offers various options for link tracking such as alpha/beta testing, conversion tracking, ad tracking reports and many more.
  4. Hide affiliate links from social media: If in any case, the affiliate links would post on any social media website, than your account would be suspended under abuse and spam statement such as Facebook or on twitter news-feed. Thus, link cloaking is better option to avoid such inconvenience.

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How to Cloak affiliate links?

There are several ways to do link cloaking. Such as,

  1. By using wordpress plugins: several WordPress plugins are available to cloak the links, such as Thirsty affiliates is the one of the best plugin. You can also try the pretty link lite to control the website links. Link auto replacer is the automated link cloaking plugin , requires to set some rules beforehand.
  2. By using URL Shortener: you can try the link shortener but be aware that Google will analyze it easily as this link redirects to some affiliate sites. Some shorteners include parameter or affiliate ID, but they won’t successful.
  3. By using WordPress: Mostly bloggers are worried that a plugin will slow down the site, than they can easily do it by using .htaccess rules on their WordPress.

 

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About the author

Harinder Kaur

Harinder Kaur has completed her M.tech in Computer Sc. & engg. from Kurukshetra University. She has done research on Mobile ad hoc networks as project fellow at SMVD university. She is currently working on her new startup dealorcoupons.com

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