All About Affiliate Links Cloaking & Its Plugins

We all know about Affiliate Marketing. Right? It’s a better method for Google Adsense to Monetize our WordPress Blogs. But what is Affiliate Clocking..??

Q: What is Affiliate Clocking??
We can say, “Affiliate Clocking is an art of masking your affiliate links so that visitors, as well as Search Engines, will not know about those affiliate links. It’s a customized link instead of your real affiliate link.

For example:

My HostGator Original Affiliate link is:

http://secure.hostgator.com/~affiliat/cgi-bin/affiliates/clickthru.cgi?id=Akash209

But My Short HostGator link is:

http://www.techsabat.com/review/hostgator/

So, You can hide this above long and ugly affiliate link with the short link.!

  • Why we cloak our Affiliate Links..??

It’s a very good question. When we cloak some of our cloaking links then the link goes very long to the short form. So, when it goes long to short then it’s easy to remember just like my Hostgator links.

Here are some advantages of cloaking your affiliate links:

  • It looks User Friendly:

Instead of putting your long and ugly affiliate links into posts to redirect to another post or your affiliate link, it generally looks unfriendly. So looking and using rememberable short links can provide a much better user experience.

We can also use these links for sending our email newsletter to our readers when some affiliate provider gives a discount or run any offers.

  • Reduce hijacking Problem:

By cloaking your affiliate links other people can’t see the real link. Because it is short and looks professional (http://www.yourblog.com/go/xxxx), people like to click more and you will get your commission.

  • Don’t Write Lots of Letter Every Time!!

By using cloaking or setting up your cloaking affiliate links it’s easy to remember. So whenever you want to place the link in some text you don’t need to write the long affiliate link, just write the main short URL which is cloak by you & that’s it.
And because it’s easy to remember so you don’t need to go every time to your affiliate website to copy the link and paste in your desired text.! Its looks are so Handy!

  • Save from Ad-blockers:

If you use some adblocker add-ons on your browsers they probably you saw every time you open a website they block some ads and some banner ads which was containing your long linked affiliate link! By using cloaking plugins or by cloaking your links does not only save your banner to remove by the ad-blockers but also helps you to get your commission fee who click on the affiliate links. :)

  • You can add Nofollow tag Automatically:

By using cloaking you don’t add individually to all your affiliate links, when you use some plugins then they Automatically do that for you. When you add the rel=” no follow” tag your all affiliate links disallow the search engine to follow them.

>Here are Some Plugins To Help You:

#1. Thirsty Affiliates:  (FREE/PAID)

This is the best Plugin for cloaking your affiliate links as per my opinion. Its have all the necessary option that always help you. As per ThirstyAffiliates ” Its a Plugin empowers website owners with the tools they need to monetize their WordPress website with affiliate marketing.”

ThirstyAffiliates will create pretty links from ugly affiliate links (aka link redirection or link cloaking) all the while giving you the double benefit of protecting your commissions from theft.

★Some Features:

  • Inbuilt affiliate link shortening/link cloaking like: (yourwebsite.com/recommends/your-affiliate-link)
  • Commission protecting affiliate link 301 redirection. (best feature)
  • Customizable link URL prefixes – loads to choose from or use your own custom prefix.
  • Hierarchical link categorization to easily segment links.
  • Handy affiliate link picker tool (with full instant search capabilities) makes it easy to insert affiliate links in posts, pages and comments!
  • Handy quick add tool lets you easily create new affiliate links without even leaving the post edit screen.
  • Show category slugs in link URLs.
  • DoFollow/NoFollow options.
  • Open in new window options.
  • Full importing and exporting support via standard WordPress tools.
  • Full backup compatibility via standard WordPress backup solutions.
  • Using the link picker insert affiliate links as standard links, shortcodes, or pre-linked images.
  • Add your graphics, banners and other images to affiliate links for easy insertion.

It also have a Pro feature that has some other features like:

  • Autolinker – Automatically linking affiliate links to keywords throughout your site.
  • Stats – Find out what links are popular on your site
  • Google Click Tracking – Track Google Analytics Click Event code on your affiliate links
  • CSV Importer – import your links from other packages in simple CSV format
  • Geolocations – Get all details with geo location details!
  • Scheduled Links – create special schedules for your affiliate links to automatically change the destination URL, great for sales running during a specific time period.

#2. Pretty Link Lite (FREE/PAID)

ts also a power-packed plugin. As per Pretty Link,” It enables you to shorten links using your domain name. In addition to creating clean links, Pretty Link tracks each hit on your URL and provides a full, detailed report of where the hit came from, the browser, os, and host. Pretty Link is a killer plugin for people who want to clean up their affiliate links, track clicks from emails, their links on Twitter to come from their domain, or generally increase the reach of their website by spreading these links on forums or comments on other blogs.

★Some Features:

  • Gives you the ability to create clean, simple URLs on your website that redirect to any other URL (allows for 301 and 307 redirects only)
  • Generates random 3-4 character slugs for your URL or allows you to name a custom slug for your URL.
  • Tracks the Number of Hits per link
  • Tracks the Number of Unique Hits per link
  • Provides a reporting interface where you can see a configurable chart of clicks per day. This report can be filtered by the specific link clicked, date range, and/or unique clicks.
  • View click details including ip address, remote host, browser (including browser version), operating system, and referring site
  • Download hit details in CSV format
  • Intuitive Javascript / AJAX Admin User Interface
  • Pass custom parameters to your scripts through pretty link and still have full tracking ability
  • Exclude IP Addresses from Stats
  • Enables you to send your Pretty Links via Email directly from your WordPress admin
  • Select Temporary (307) or Permanent (301) redirection for your Pretty Links
  • Cookie based system for tracking visitor activity across hits
  • Organize Links into Groups
  • Create nofollow/noindex links
  • Turn tracking on / off on each link
  • Pretty Link Bookmarklet

#3. Redirection :

It’s also a simple, minimal but Powerful plugin in WordPress Plugin Stores per its name says Redirection it’s generally used to track 404 error pages and manage your blog 301 redirections. You can use it to cloak your affiliate links also.

★Some Features:

  • 404 error monitoring – captures a log of 404 errors and allows you to easily map these to 301 redirects
  • Custom ‘pass-through’ redirections allowing you to pass a URL through to another page, file, or website.
  • Full logs for all redirected URLs
  • All URLs can be redirected, not just ones that don’t exist
  • Redirection methods – redirect based upon login status, redirect to random pages, redirect based upon the referrer!

>You can also try other plugins like:

  • 123Linkit Affiliate Marketing Tool
  • WP Shorties
  • Simple URLs 

>Over To You:

This is all about Affiliate Links Cloaking & Best using Plugin. Now select your Plugin and Hide your ugly links with a Pretty short link.

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