October 31, 2016
How to Cloak Affiliate Links
If you’re building a review site of any kind that you intend to monetize, the best way to do that is to add affiliate links of products that you recommend. It’s a great way to make money online, and if you take this seriously, you can make a tremendous living this way.
I’ve always felt that affiliate links need to be cloaked and redirected through some type of a redirect script. Knowing how to do this is not necessarily the easiest thing to accomplish if you don’t have proper instructions. So I’m going to teach you how to cloak affiliate links the easiest and simplest way possible. But before I get into my explanation, let’s look at why you should be cloaking these links to begin with.
Why Cloaking Affiliate Links Is Important
In all honesty, there are many reasons why people decide to redirect affiliate links. All the super affiliate marketers do this. Historically speaking, one of the biggest reasons to cloak affiliate links was to hide the fact that you are an affiliate from Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines. Although, the search engines have to know that affiliate links have been cloaked anyway. It would be kind of ridiculous if they didn’t figure this out. But, the reason why affiliate links were cloaked at the start was because these links were intended to be hidden from search engine bots.
Truth be told, there are a number of other reasons why we should all cloak our affiliate links. The top three reasons include the following:
- Creates a “clean” link – have you ever seen an Amazon affiliate link? It’s huge, has about 1000 characters, and it’s really ugly. The easiest way to eliminate this ugly looking affiliate link and create a clean one is to cloak it using a redirect script.
- Stops page rank leakage – instead of wasting time no following every affiliate link, an easy and less painful way to accomplish the same thing is to create a cloaked affiliate link.
- Makes them easy to manage – you may need to change affiliate links for one reason or another from time to time. Instead of physically having to go into your content to change the link, it’s a lot easier to do this from a centralized location.
How to Cloak Affiliate Links Using a Redirect Script
The process is simple and includes the following three steps:
- Create a redirect folder. A simple one to remember is /redirect/.
- Add the following to block the folder from your domain’s robots.txt file: Disallow: /redirect/.
- In the/redirect/ folder, use a script like Pretty Link Pro and redirect your affiliate URLs.
At the end of the day, you’ll appreciate using redirected affiliate links for many reasons. We shared three reasons with you already and redirects honestly make your life so much easier. It’s a lot easier to swap out an affiliate link in one central location than it is to physically go back to hundreds or even potentially thousands of links and change them manually. This saves a lot of time, effort, and energy, and you’ll definitely appreciate this option once you begin using it.
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