Is link cloaking really necessary?

by dustinlemos 9 replies
I'm just curious as to what the purpose is of link cloaking. Obviously it will make your affiliate links easier on the eyes, but I never saw that as something that really mattered. Besides, isn't that the purpose of anchor text?
#main internet marketing discussion forum #cloaking #link
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  • Profile picture of the author Zulfus
    It's also possible that some more devious characters could hi-jack your affiliate link if it was in plain text, and replace it with their own. That's the main reason people do it.

    Zul
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  • Profile picture of the author deannatroupe
    Also people could just chop off your affiliate code and buy it from the main merchant. That's another way you lose your commissions.
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  • Profile picture of the author S513
    There are services that offer cloak

    Here is a link to self help Cloaking & Ranking Your Affiliate Links
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  • Hi Mate,

    There are several reasons.

    1. Nicer looking link
    2. Prevents hijacking
    3. Hides the fact that its an affiliate link

    Just make sure that you are not cloaking your
    affiliate links are not hosted by a 3rd party
    service such as tinyurl.com, because if their
    service goes down...so does your affiliate link.

    You will have no control over your link if the
    cloak/redirect is hostes elswhere.

    You are best to cloak an affiliate link and
    host it yourself with a free service like this
    Click-2-Cloak

    Take Care,

    Michael Silvester
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    • Profile picture of the author Marc Marseille
      I also like cloaking with a service like Viral Url gives you the opportunity to get extra exposure for your website through their viral bar.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dixiebelle
      Originally Posted by Michael Silvester View Post

      Hi Mate,

      You are best to cloak an affiliate link and
      host it yourself with a free service like this
      Click-2-Cloak

      Take Care,

      Michael Silvester

      That might be a great one if they were not asking for your ftp login and password. I don't give that to anyone.

      Dixie
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      • Profile picture of the author Asher
        Cloaking your affiliate links is better because:

        1. People don't like to be sold - they like to buy.
        So when your links are blatant affiliate links, they might not be that interested to click on it. This applies even more to people who are doing internet marketing themselves.

        2. Pirates exist
        Not everyone on the internet is nice and want to give you money. Even if you've done a good job with your strategy, if they see that it's an affiliate link, what people can do is copy-and-paste your link location, change the affiliate to themselves, then visit and make their purchase

        3. It's a Recommended Resource
        This is something similar to point 1... when you cloak affiliate links, it's quite a good/common practice to have it be going to a redirect page because it looks like they are going to a recommended resource instead of a sales page. That's like saying "I'm a financial consultant" instead of "I'm an insurance agent" - the goal is the same but the face value changes dramatically.

        Asher
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  • Profile picture of the author Tom Dean
    Also people could just chop off your affiliate code and buy it from the main merchant. That's another way you lose your commissions.
    That's a good point. When I was new to all this I always chopped off the link (don't do this now).

    Back then it seems lots of links were not cloaked. I feared a lack of support if I didn't get the download link or had some other problem.

    I felt more comfortable buying through the main site. I did not understand affiliate links or what all those characters/numbers after the domain meant.

    With a constant stream of new people coming online they may do the same thing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fender85
    I recommend it, but via a redirct - ie, make it a link on your domain (yoursite.com/recommendedproduct). Now that I'm in the IM field, I know what hoplinks/affiliate links look like, but back when I was just a consumer if the link looked "funny," I wouldn't click it - didn't know what kind of site it was going to take me to (this also applies to things like tinyurl), so I'd Google the product name and buy through the merchant site. So all in all, I believe in the "pretty" link - have always seen CTR improvements when I add them in.
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