We generally cloak a link. But first of all, let’s understand what cloaking is.
What is Cloaking?
In plain and simple words, it is hiding a URL from a third party by making it appear different from the original one using a third party. Using this phenomenon, you can redirect traffic to a desired page of your choice.
In other words, you show one landing page to a certain percentage of the audience and a different landing page to others.
There are very legit reasons why one would want to cloak the URL’s and it has obvious advantages as well.
But where do we use cloaking?
The most obvious sites are Google, Facebook and Bing considered for cloaking as they are huge traffic sources.
A lot of URL’s are blocked because of using potential roadblocks to Platforms growth like weight loss, money making products or anything that makes a very big non human promise. The Platforms block these links to make the community more safer.
But just in case you want to run those offers on the platforms in the form of advertisements or organic posts you can do it via cloking.
Reasons why you should cloak
Easy management of links – There are times when you require to change your affiliate links. If your links are in more than one place, the task of changing them everywhere would become a cumbersome task for you. So it’s better to centralize it.
To prevent revealing your affiliate ID from being seen – It is widely noticed that many users don’t trust affiliate marketers and making your ID visible is one sure shot way to lose them. So all your efforts go in vain once you come in their unwanted radar list of people.
Dodge search ranking penalties – One of the parameters Google uses for ranking your site is that how many sites provide link to your site. Your sites will be pointed to sources with an intention of monetary benefits, and this may not be a good practice according to Google. So, according to Google, all affiliate links must be of the rel=nofollow attribute. So cloaking is the only way out.
The definitive non technical guide to cloaking is mentioned in simple steps:
To begin the process, you would need a software, you can either use a wordpress plugin or a Saas based software. There are plenty of them in the market but the one which i prefer is a Saas based platform and not a wordpress plugin. WordPress plugin normally breaks because of some or the other update but Saas application are trustworthy.
The one i prefer for achieving the task of Cloaking is EASY LINKS (37$), it is a cloud based SAAS app and the best part about it – it’s not just a cloaking platform but an entire Link Management System.
Let’s get to the core of Cloaking, in true sense Cloaking softwares iframes the destination page into the URL of your choice and hides the main URL from platforms like Google, Facebook and others.
One of the disadvantages which comes along with this power is the page loads up a little slower.
Nonetheless, it works like a charm. Look of my Dashboard from the front.
The very first thing that you should do is configure your own domain, Easy Links gives us this option to use our own domain.
We have been cloaking lots of links for promotion for a while now and it’s kind of a Link Bank for us.
For creating a new link, all one has to do is set up few options and check the Cloak option (See screenshot)
We can chose the Vendor, give it a name, enter your Affiliate link in the destination URL. A good part about Easy Links is that we can set the status of the link to Active, Evergreen or Completed and show different pages as per the status. In the Industry many promotions are time bound so it make perfect sense to set up your links in the same manner and with speed.
In addition to the above features we also have the option to add people to our Facebook Custom Audience or Google or Adroll Audience via Retargeting pixels.
We can have Holding pages and set up specific dates for promotion as well.
On a whole a cloud based app which offers these features can definitely help you for boosting your Affiliate Marketing Profits and serve as a Link Management system for a sustainable business.
Happy Affiliate Marketing 🙂
If you have any doubts on cloaking, feel free to ask me in comments below.