Link cloaking refers to changing an affiliate link so that affiliate coding is no longer visible. Once the link is cloaked it is then redirected to the affiliate site so that the affiliate marketer’s commission is protected. Usually affiliate links are very long and hard to remember, so cloaking them makes them easy to use and manage.
Benefits To Link Cloaking
1. Commissions losses are reduced.
Sometimes people will visit a product page and then substitute their affiliate link for yours. Some networks do allow users to purchase using their own link, so if this happens you will lose the commission.
Other consumers might just go to the main site and take off the affiliate part of the link to purchase directly from the affiliate instead of you.
Cloaking your links will cut down on these two practices and help protect your commissions.
2. Cloaking helps with tracking. There are plugins that do a great job at this. You can use them to cloak your links and then they will track all of the clicks going to your affiliate links. This will help you figure out which parts of your website or blog layout, pages or posts are earning the highest commission amounts.
3. Increases your click-through rate (CTR). Affiliate links have a tendency to be displeasing to the eye and quite long and cumbersome. Many people are turned off by them. So if you make them look cleaner and like they are branded to your website, them more people will feel inclined to click on them and make purchases from your affiliate links.
4. Can increase your email delivery rates. Quite often when affiliate links are included in emails it can trigger spam filters. This can result in your emails getting blacklist. Whenever you are using affiliate links in your email marketing campaigns it is always a good idea to cloak them.
5. Easy and convenient link management: If you need to change your affiliate links for any reason it can be very tedious and time-consuming.
If you use a simple WordPress plugin to cloak your links the process can be very easy to use. All you need to do is change your links from one location, and they will be automatically changed everywhere.
6. Makes it easy to no-follow your affiliate links. Quite often Google frowns on do-follow affiliate links. This could lead to your blog being potentially penalized which would negatively impact your rankings in the search results.
Having to manually add the rel=nofollow attribute would be very time-consuming if you need to do it each time you were creating an affiliate link. If you use a plugin to cloak your links then this is a very easy process.
The best thing of all is that once your affiliate links are cloaked, you can re-use this link as many times as you want to, and they will still be cloaked. The practice of cloaking affiliate links is definitely one that all affiliate marketers should use on a regular basis.