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Saturday, July 28, 2012

5 Reasons Why YOU Should Be Cloaking Affiliate Links

Becoming a top affiliate marketer is hard, especially when you've got endless competition snooping in on your methods. The affiliate marketing industry is tough, and without guarding your secrets it's easy to see them spill out for everyone to apply, mastermind, and earn from. There's nothing more disappointing than seeing your hard work pay out for someone else, which is why it's absolutely essential to clock all of your affiliate links.

While cloaking sounds like an ultra-difficult procedure, it's really pretty simple. By using some intuitive link-cloaking software, you can have all your affiliate links pointing right at their targets, without your buyers even knowing. If you're still not sold on link cloaking, these five reasons should have you begging for a simple cloaking solution.

1. Cautious buyers can smell an affiliate link from miles away.
It's true. We've read so many blogs, seen so many recommendation pages, and viewed so many 'review' websites that we've become cautious of affiliate links. It's just the nature of recommendations; while some people trust personal recommendations, others back away from a sale when it looks like a paid commission. With link cloaking, every one of your affiliate links is disguised, so buyers won't be worrying about buying from a commission-generating source.

2. Affiliate managers love to steal commission data.
Data theft is a sad truth of the affiliate world. As helpful as most affiliate managers are, there are always bad apples who scrub sales, steal data, and milk your campaigns for their own commissions. Affiliate networks need to know that you're not sending fraudulent traffic, but they don't need to know exactly where your traffic is coming from. Link cloaking can help you avoid the potential theft of your traffic sources, and minimize the chances of your commissions going missing.

3. Without cloaking, hackers can steal affiliate information.
Did you know that there are pop-ups out there designed to do nothing other than detect affiliate links and substitute one account number for another? That way, whenever a sale is made, you're not getting credit. Instead, the commission credit goes to a hacker, who carefully planted adware on a user's computer. Since cloaking takes your affiliate link out of the URL bar, hackers can't access the data, and automated scripts like this are powerless when it comes to stealing your commissions.

4. Cloaking is essential for good affiliate monitoring.
You are tracking your data, aren't you? If you're using self-hosted tracking software such as 202, you need to be cloaking your links too. Whether you're running traffic through a landing page or directly to the affiliate page, setting up tracking alongside your cloaking makes it easier to monitor user behavior, track conversion rates and EPC data, and split test different types of linking and landing pages.

5. Cloaking can help with SEO.
We've all experienced Google's recent crackdown on affiliate products. When your pages are indexed, any affiliate links could be hurting your ranking. It's a little unfair, that's for sure, but it's the rules that we've got to play by. By cloaking your links, search engines are powerless to detect any affiliate products, and you could end up getting a better ranking, or for PPC users, a better quality score.

To learn more about link cloaking, c


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