Affiliate Link Cloaking: The Real Reason And Benefits
If you have been doing Affiliate Marketing, you may be aware of Link Cloaking.
Affiliate programs will generally give you a link attached with your affiliate Id, ex – www.merchant.com/aff=12345.
Some merchant Marketplace like ShareASale gives a long link like – www.ShareASale.com/click?=2344=?aff=2747#track=&aff=.
When disguised in your domain name with a redirection to the merchant’s original link, these links are known as Link Cloaking.
It is done for Beautification, pretty links, and branded links. That’s a partial truth. Cloaking an Affiliate link makes a link prettier and easy to remember, but this procedure was made to particularly protect your links.
[su_box title=”⭐️Fact” box_color=”#21ff50″]Link cloaking is also known as link masking.[/su_box]
Over the internet, you will find many articles related to link cloaking. The Main Purposes of Affiliate link cloaking you will see are:-
- Making Links Prettier
- Ease of Management
Main Reason Behind Link Cloaking
The leading cause remains neglected. The whole purpose is to protect your commissions from theft.
It’s quite easy to remove your affiliate code from the link and add in someone else’s. This way, that person would get your commissions. Cloaking the link, you won’t disclose your affiliate ID. Therefore it can’t be changed. Injecting malicious code into your WordPress isn’t a big task for a hacker. You have to keep it secure. WordPress powers 29% of the internet, and this popularity makes it the prime target for a large hoard of hackers.
More Reasons For Cloaking An Affiliate Link:-
1. Branding – When you cloak a link using a Link Cloaker plugin or upload HTML/PHP landing pages, It Looks like www.yourdomain.com/go/merchant, and this has your branding (your domain) and looks more appealing.
2. Making Prettier – While some (very few) Merchants would give you beautiful and straightforward links, Many will provide you with Ugly and Very Spammie looking links, especially Affiliate Programs Handlers like Viglink and cuelinks.
These links are not very appealing, and some people would never click on them because they look ugly and spammy.
Benefits Of Link Cloaking:-
1. Shortening And Management – Affiliate Links are the core for your earnings as an affiliate marketer, and you need to keep them managed as well. Plugins like ThirstyAffiliates Helps To keep All your Affiliated links in a single place.
Long links are often impossible to remember, and cloaked links are more comfortable to remember so that you can use them on the go.
2. Tracking – Link cloaking Plugins Also helps you to track the clicks on your links. This helps to keep a record of which links perform better.
Final Words & Tips:-
One thing which I want to share, Cloaking and Keeping your Affiliate links in one place, will give you an essential benefit in the future:-
Whenever you get a better or high-paying merchant to promote, you can easily find the link through the plugin and just replace the URL. That’s it. You don’t have to find the articles and replace links manually.
The best thing to make your affiliate links secure and easy to manage is to use a link cloaking plugin for WordPress. I use and recommend ThirstyAffiliates for this task. Read ThirstyAffiliates Review
Link cloaking is something you should start doing as soon as possible. Make it your basic instinct. If you are not cloaking your links, eventually, you will begin to Losing your affiliate commissions.
You would also want to read the best link cloaking plugins for WordPress and my guide on how to cloak links in WordPress.
Another important thing you need to know is FTC disclosure. When you cloak your links, you must disclose that those links are affiliate links and make your commission.
I hope you have found something special in this article. Share this post on social media and leave a comment below with your views and opinions.
Great blog Mr. Aayush
It’s hard to search out educated folks on affiliate link cloaking!
Impressed with your writing abilities.
Glad to help Manilal 🙌
Hi Thanks for the article. I have an affiliate site that uses shareasale and also uses the Wzone plugin for Amazon. My affliate commissions for shareasale have gone to zero (from getting one conversion every 2nd to 3rd day). My Wzone commissions are still comming through. So I highly suspect my site has been hacked in some way. My question is even if I cloak the links now, is it too late? As now the hacker knows my affiliate code etc. ? Do I need to create a new shareasale account or completely reinstall WordPress? What would you do? Thanks
If the hacker has changed the affiliate code, clocking and re-adding your ShareASale affiliate links will percent that from happening. However, if this is a database/core hack, the hacker would simply change the destination URL of the cloaked link.
I’d hire someone to take a look at the site, and get rid of the hacker. I recommend Sucuri to get your site cleaned up.
Then you should definitely cloak your affiliate links and monitor your site using something like BlogVault or even better, Sucuri.