Link Cloaking: How Does Link Cloaking Works in Affiliate Marketing Industry?

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The affiliate marketing industry is a tough area to start a business in. People are always seeking the next edge and the next piece of technology that will help them drive more sales and commissions since the competition is so fierce.
Unfortunately, this can occasionally lead to unscrupulous methods of stealing other people’s affiliate commissions.

Commission theft is frequently carried out using malware that has been installed unwittingly on people’s PCs. This software monitors the pages that those users visit, looks for affiliate links on those pages, substitutes an affiliate’s unique affiliate ID code with their own affiliate ID code, and thereby steals the commissions earned by that affiliate.
Fortunately for the 99 percent of honest affiliate marketers out there, the industry has a tried-and-true defense:

Link Cloaking. 

In this article, we’ll go over some real-world examples of how to cloak your affiliate links  FourCreeds  may assist you.

What is Link Cloaking?

The process of disguising the affiliate link URL provided by an affiliate program in order to obfuscate the affiliate ID and make the link shorter is known as link cloaking. By hiding the affiliate ID, link cloaking preserves your affiliate
commissions. At the same time, it improves the visual appeal of the link for visitors.
Link cloaking is similar to link shortening in that it hides links. When you cloak a link, you almost always abbreviate it as well, though this isn’t required.
The goal of link cloaking is to brand your URLs and protect any sensitive information they may include. Here’s an example of how a long link can be cloaked:

 affiliateprogram.com/?clickid=xyz321
 yourwebsite.com/product-name

It’s a minor distinction, but it’s a game-changer. While link cloaking is useful in a variety of contexts, it’s especially beneficial in affiliate marketing. You can use this method to mask your affiliate IDs while still incorporating your brand name into your linking strategy.
If you’re earning a lot of sales, you’ll want to keep your affiliate IDs hidden. Affiliate marketing, as you’ve surely aware, is a cutthroat business. Malware has been known to infect visitors’ computers and search for URLs with affiliate IDs to replace them.
This allows malicious people to take your commissions when you aren’t even aware of it. Cloaking your links prevents this type of assault because your affiliate IDs are hidden.

Finally, it’s a prevalent fallacy that link cloaking has a detrimental impact on your SEO ranking. Fortunately, SEO specialists have debunked this theory numerous times. There’s no reason not to hide your links if you’re an affiliate
marketer.

How Does Link Cloaking Work?

The visitor is sent through a URL redirection when an affiliate link is cloaked. It’s fine if you’re not extremely technical. To take advantage of link cloaking, you don’t need to understand how it works. Let’s start with a basic explanation of the main notion.
A URL redirect is essentially a phony URL that directs the visitor’s browser to a different location. It’s only a placeholder for a page that doesn’t exist on your site.
With a cloaked link, your browser goes through the following steps:
1. When you click on the above-cloaked link, your browser requests the content of the page /recommends/product-name from our site.
2. Your website then answers that the page doesn’t exist and directs your browser to another location to retrieve the content.

3. Finally, your browser reads the response and navigates to the new URL without your involvement.

Advantages Link Cloaking

The obvious benefit of hiding your affiliate links is to safeguard your commissions, as previously mentioned. But why should you employ link cloaking in the first place?

The Trusted Link   

People are intelligent. Rather than clicking on an affiliate link directly, a visitor is significantly more likely to click on a link pointing to the same page they’re on. Cloaking affiliate links have been proven to enhance click-through rates
time and time again.

You can increase the perceived trust in a link by making it appear to lead to something on your website. Which option would you prefer to hit? A link with a bunch of letters and numbers after it, as though the website owner is getting paid to take you there? Would you rather click a link that takes you to a different page on the same website?
You can also customize the appearance of an affiliate link by cloaking it. You can alter the slug of the URL to whatever you like instead of a link to a product page on another site with arbitrary numbers and product IDs that make no sense to your audience.

Management

Then, with the help of an affiliate link management plugin, affiliate link cloaking is commonly done. Many other advantages come with these types of plugins, the most important of which is management control.

You might not have just one or two links as an affiliate marketer. You could have hundreds, if not thousands, of them.
Organizing and managing more than a few affiliate links can become a real headache over time. That is why we have solutions.

To keep your affiliate links in logical groups, you can categorize them into categories. For example, a “Hosting” link category may contain all of your hosting links. Your WordPress plugin affiliate links can be placed in a category
called “WordPress Plugins.” And so forth.

Tracking

Another big advantage of cloaking links is the ability to track affiliate link traffic.
It’s critical to understand which affiliate links are actually gaining traction with your audience in order to improve the performance of your links.
For example, you might discover through analytics that your audience prefers to click on links concerning fashionable clothes products but not on links about fashionable technologies. You’ll know to concentrate more on apparel promotion and creating more material on the subject.

What if we don’t have a website?

You can use sites like bit.ly to hide your affiliate links if you don’t have a website. There are, however, some disadvantages to this.

Conclusion

You should now have a strong grasp of what link cloaking is and how to utilize it as an effective affiliate marketing strategy.