Affiliate Product Links – Why and How you Should Cloak Them

In the world of affiliate marketing, learning how to cloak affiliate product links is as important as the product itself. Since the internet has become a common element in so many homes, consumers are becoming quite savvy about the products they buy as well as where they buy those products from. In order to try to keep their personal information safe when shopping online, many prefer to make their purchases from well known sites like Amazon or eBay.

Over the years, these well known sites have also been the target of an act known as Pishing. eBay as well as Paypal have both been major targets of this act. The act itself is pretty simple, a scammer creates an email that looks identical to a legitimate email a customer would receive from the company. While the content of the email is not the issue, it is the links that are contained within the email that can cause problems.

Lets say you receive an account information update email from eBay. Besides going directly to the site and logging in, you can check the validity of the email by hovering over the link listed in the email. When you hover over it, it will display the actual link in the footer of your web browser. If the link that appears does not start with, then you know that the link is false.  It is tactics like this that make the technique of cloaking affiliate product links so very important. Since the buying public has become quite skilled at identifying fake website links, the last thing you want to do is scare a customer off by allowing your potential customer to see any links that do not look legitimate, even if they link to a perfectly legitimate site. I will use the links generated at LinkShare, as an example.

For those who may not have heard of LinkShare before, it is an affiliate site, like Commission Junction where members have access to thousands of different advertisers, or companies in one place. These sites are quite popular with affiliate marketers as they offer the affiliate links for some of the larger companies like Best Buy, PetSmart and Tiger Direct. For this example I will use BocaJava, a popular online coffee home delivery program.

If I was to choose to promote their 20% all orders promotion, my link would look something similar to the following: A little confusing don’t you think? There is no mention of the site that is being promoted, which can cause those who fear identity theft to shy away from your link and potentially your site. With the right tools my link now looks like this:

How did I do this, you may ask? Well its actually quite simple with the help of the My Linker tool offered at the Wealthy Affiliate. With the help of this tool you can cloak affiliate links for your website, or even your blog giving even the novices of the world the ability to market their product of choice. This allows marketers from all walks of life the chance to earn their piece of the internet marketing pie quicker than they ever thought possible.