Affiliate link cloaking via 301 redirect

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by Dr_Boo, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. Dr_Boo

    Dr_Boo New Member

    Hi All,
    I want to place a few affiliate links on my (soon to be live) website and I have a question. I've heard people say you should cloak your link so your affiliate id can't be removed.

    Some people use sites like tinyurl for this, but to me those links just seem to ooze "something to hide" and I'm very reluctant to click anywhere its obvious someone doesn't want me to see where I'm going.

    Other people use a page on their own site with a meta refresh tag, but I've read that search engines hate these links and it is not advisable to use them. The other common tactic seems to be buying a domain and redirecting traffic to the affiliate site.

    So my actual question is can I make a link to a non-existent page on my own domain and set up a 301 redirect to the affiliate site? Any downside to this?

    Thanks for your time!
     
  2. getagrip

    getagrip Gold Member

    I usually don't cloak my links - some people seem to live by link cloaking, but in all honestly, I don't think link cloaking effects conversions - the more important thing is to make your links look "pretty", and you can do this with knowledge of simple HTML or with an HTML editor. Also, it can help get more click throughs if your keywords links are in the form of benefit statements.
     
  3. johnjimat

    johnjimat New Member

    yes you should cloak your link to prevent someone from hijacking your commision. but i do not recommend you to cloak your link by services like tinyurl because they just make your url short not cloaking your link. when they click your tiny url, your affiliate link will appear on the browser. if you want to cloak your link you may use affiliate buzz or affiliate warrior or some software that you can cloak your link. i show you how it works:

    example:-

    your affiliate link
    xxxx.work.clickbank.net

    when you use the software you can put a name for your affiliate link, for example you put:

    work.htm

    then when you upload the file in your website, it will be like this

    yourwebsite.com/work.htm

    so your affiliate link will not appear on your browser.

    hope this will help you.. [​IMG]
     
  4. kyrash

    kyrash New Member

    I have been using offto.net to cloak without issues. Its hides your affiliate link. Cheers
     
  5. Vishal P. Rao

    Vishal P. Rao Administrator Staff Member

    Dr_Boo: So my actual question is can I make a link to a non-existent page on my own domain and set up a 301 redirect to the affiliate site? Any downside to this?
    You can redirect but I'm not sure of the downside to it. You can however block those pages by including those pages in robots.txt to prevent search engines from crawling those pages.

    Here's how to redirect:

    Lets say you want to redirect http://www.yourdomain.com/money to http://www.somedomain.com/?aff=1234. Create a file called .htaccess in your root or a sub directory, say goto. If you are creating a sub-directory, then your redirect url would be http://www.yourdomain.com/goto/money

    I think it would be better this way as you can simply block the sub-directory alone in your robots.txt than blocking individual redirects.

    Include the following line in your .htaccess file:

    redirect 301 /goto/money http://www.somedomain.com/?aff=1234

    Save and upload it to goto subdirectory.
     
  6. Dr_Boo

    Dr_Boo New Member

    Awesome. As usual Vishal, you're The Man. [​IMG]
    Thanks everyone for your input as well!
     

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