Five Reasons Affiliate Marketers Should Cloak Links


Affiliate marketers are really never quite sure if it is actually OK to cloak links on their websites or not.

It sounds bad and they sometimes think Google might not like link cloaking.

Now do not get confused with the term cloaking as it means to deceive your web visitor by making something look different from what it really is. Cloaking a link means we are making the link look different, but hopefully not to deceive anyone. As you will see in my article below, cloaking links is good for both you and your website visitor.

It Looks Pretty

Affiliate links in their raw state can look horrible! They sometimes contain many different characters; numbers and tracking code that can make them look like a load of mumbo-jumbo. Cloaking your affiliate links can make them look much neater.

Take a look at the difference between these two links and you tell me which one you like better?

Uncloaked Link:

Cloaked Link:

The Links Look Professional

Apart from looking pretty, cloaking affiliate links can make your blog look more professional, as anything that is untidy makes you look like you don’t know what you’re doing. Not only that, most professionals know that having a raw affiliate link on your website is not a good idea.

Your Affiliate Links Are Safe

We have all heard about affiliate commissions being stolen and one way this can happen is if you expose your raw affiliate links. People will automatically see that it is an affiliate link and rob you of your commission. They usually go and create their own affiliate link and buy the product through there.

The Visitor Knows What They Are Clicking On

As you can see from the links posted below, the cloaked Link is by far the easiest to recognize. This means that the website visitor will feel more confident about clicking on the link. We all know that tricking people to click a link is not recommended and is not produced sales. If a person is really interested in finding out more information, it is best to have a link that they can recognize.

Uncloaked Link:

Cloaked Link:

Links Can Be Updated Easily

If you manually cloak your affiliate links by using a PHP redirect, it will be easy to go back and change the links if they need any updating in the future. For example, you just have to access the server where you created the PHP redirect and edit the link. This will change the redirect and all URLs will lead to the new link you entered. The same applies if you have a WordPress cloaking plug-in, as these links can easily be changed as well.

If you do not have cloaking set in place on your blog, updating a link can be hard work. Trust me I have been there and done that. It was back in the old days of html websites. If you wanted to change anything you had to go to every page and do so. What a nightmare!

Should Cloaked Links be Nofollow

This is another dilemma that webmasters face when cloaking links. Should these links be dofollow or nofollow? Well I do not know for sure but I will certainly tell you what I do.

I nofollow all affiliate links, raw or cloaked, as I really do not want to pass link juice from my blog. I especially add a no follow attribute to cloaked links as I do not want Google to index a link that leads to my site, but a post or page does not actually exist.

What do you think about cloaking your affiliate links?

Mitz Pantic build websites that make money online and now teaches others how to build their own successful WordPress website. Link cloaking is something you will need to consider if you want to place affiliate links on your webiste.

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