Friday, 22 May 2009

How To Cloak Affiliate Links

Problem with affiliate marketing is the issue of commission theft.

People find a good product through a website of yours and then go and buy the product using their own affiliate link. It takes only 5 minutes to generate your own affiliate link for a lot of products out there.

This is commission theft.

But how can you protect yourself against commission theft

The honest truth is that you cannot completely achieve this but you can reduce the frequency of link theft by cloaking your affiliate links.

So how do you easily cloak your affiliate links without having to buy some software or the other.

So that instead of an affiliate link that looks like


You have a link that reads

yourdomain/likes/name you choose for product

  • First create a folder called likes. [you could choose to use recommends or goto or whatever else you want to appear after your domain name]

  • Use this script

  • Save it index.html file in a folder within the likes folder

  • Name the new folder the name you want to call the product. So if you are promoting a link cloaker you could call that folder linkcloaker.

  • Upload the likes folder with it's contained folder to your hosting account

And you are done.

What you have just done is set up a webpage on your website called mydomain/likes/productname which redirects to your affiliate URL.


Read it again slowly


koe said...

Nice tutorial... thank's for sharing and ... thank's for dropping by

ami said...

Thanks Koe and love the layout of your blog

shri123 said...

Thanks for sharing.
Does this script will work on all the affiliate links that you have on your website?
how it works?
I am little confused.

ami said...

Thanks for dropping in Shri

It's a simple redirect script that will work with any website

It redirects fromthe URL you create using the script t your affiliate link

Good luck

Dan said...

After implementing and using the example above I assume the new aff. html link code would be:


That worked when I did it and no aff. code was displayed. Only the folder names.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ami, nice tutorial. But I have some questions about it.
1) Does google allow these techniques? Won't I be penalized?
2)I assume this is a FRAMED redirect, right?
3)What about the 30 days cookie that normal affiliate links install in the prospect's computer? Does this do the same?

4)As you may know, you can add a tracking ID for each aff. link you use with clickbank, so you know from which link the visitor made the purchase. So, can I put my af. link with the ID as normally?


ami said...

Hi and sorry it took so long to get back to your question

Cloaking affiliate links is NOT against googles TOS and it's perfectly legitimate

It's an html redirect not a frame

And the cookies work just as if you gave them the raw affiliate link

All the best with your marketing campaigns

Anonymous said...

What about doing this on blogs like yoours

ami said...

Cloaking affiliate links using the method I described above only works on websites and blogs that are hosted by you.

If you have a blogger blog, you could still cloak your links using your own website and paste the links in blogger

Help said...

Superb tutorial, thanks for sharing! Works perfectly!

Cliff said...

hi Ami. I was looking how to cloak my affiliate link and saw your post. Very informative for a newbie like me. I want to use prosper202 to monitor my links. Does this method works with prosper202? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ami, thanks very much for advise. It is important matter for everyone. Wish you the best in business and family.

George Gogle

luke frm BCG said...

would you have to create a new redirect page for every different affiliate ptoduct on your website?

ami said...

Thanks for dropping by Luke. Yes you will need to create a new redirect page for every different affiliate product on your site. It takes about 10 seconds.

Anonymous said...

finally after searching for 3 hours..came up with link..

saved my day..

MJ said...

Thanks for this very simple explanation! I've finally learned how to cloak. :)

cloakaffiliatelinks said...

I do not recomend such seripts, cloaking affiliate links is very important and affiliate must have a good cloaking strategy or software

J.Sheng said...

great tutorial!! Thanks for sharing =D

Ed Brown said...

Not only does this method cloak your links hence protecting your affiliate ID, it also makes your page appear to have more depth to the search engines via the added internal files, which is a major plus in the single landing page game. Thanks so much!

Robolovsky said...

I don't get this! Sure it will redirect you to the correct page without revealing the AF ID but once you get to the page the full address will be revealed anyway and could still be hijacked. Surely only a framed redirect could prevent this?

ami said...

You are right Rob there are some die hard commission thieves out there and for them a framed redirect may help.
However with just this simple cloaking method, my commissions seem to be getting to me.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to give a big thanks for the code! My conversion has improved already!

Ames said...

Thanks for this. I found this site through Google search engine. It's my first time in finding out about this so thanks for blog and also providing a solution.
Many thanks :-)

Music Gear Guy said...

Thanks for the info. Simple and to the point.

Anthony said...

I have seen many simply use the tinyurl method because of how easy it is to click and go. If all of the hosting companies simply made a simple redirect or gave you an easy to use platform to ghost links and cloak them then click jacking and stealing commish would go away altogether.

DigitalDude said...

Awesome Post. Highly Recommended and Simple Way to Cloak and Hide the links Easily. Will Post this page onsite and give you backlink to...

HowtoCloakaLink said...


You didnt mention any of the pretty link ideas and also some of the latest methods that are being used from 2009 to surrent are not listed here...?

I personally like the easy redirect method, which also allows you to do a blank reffered if needed...

Anonymous said...

Can you recommend any plugins that do it automatically? The only one I've heard of is eclipsecloaker but its a little pricey

House of script said...

Great tutorial, simple site redirection, i love it thanks

Prixpc said...

Nice tutorial! it worked for me :)

Regardless of commission theft, there are a lot of good reasons to redirect affiliate links. People naturally don't like "strange" and long links. This can also be done for seo purposes as google may consider affilaite links as pointing to the merchant site, even if they are nofollow; cloaking make them seem as internal links.

Sigit said...

Thanks for sharing.
Does this script will work on all the affiliate links that you have on your website?
how it works?