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Different Linking Solutions That Can Be Used With An
Solution 1 - Simple
The most basic solution for hiding/securing an affiliate
link is called a "Simple Redirect". It makes the link look
like a web address on your own site, but as soon as the
visitor clicks on the link, they are "redirected" to the sales
page, which is shown as normal.
Example: Someone clicking on our "hidden" link:
would see the sales page in their browser as normal. In the
web address bar on their browser, they may
see something like this:
The drawback is that it's obvious
to the visitor that we used an affiliate link to access the
page. It is not obvious to people before they clicked on the
link, but it is obvious afterwards. This may in some cases put
visitors off buying the product.
The alternative solutions below
provide more sophisticated solutions for hiding the fact that
an affiliate link was used to access the site.
Solution 2 - Link
Cloaking Or Framing
Link Cloaking or Framing also makes the link look like a
web address on your own site, but when the visitor clicks
on the link, the address of your website is still shown in the
web address of the browser, even when the sales page is being
Example: Someone clicking on our "hidden" link:
would see the sales page in their browser as normal, but in
the web address of their browser, they would still
The drawback with this is that
more advanced visitors will realise that this is a framed page
(it's easy to tell if you are experienced in these
matters). However most
visitors will be satisfied by this solution.
Solution 3 - Link Branding
Link Branding is a variant on Link Cloaking. It works in
exactly the same way, except that in addition to
showing the sale page being promoted, a small message is
shown at the top or bottom of the visitor's web browser. This
is usually in the form of a single line strip
containing some form of an advertising message from the
affiliate with a clickable link.
The solution has all the advantages of Link Cloaking,
but with the extra feature that this special message from the
affiliate is shown at the same time as the sales page.
The drawback with this is
that visitors will generally realise that this is a
framed page - and also that the message can prove annoying to
Solution 4 - Covert
A Covert Linking is an advanced solution which almost
completely hides the fact that an affiliate link is being used
and offers a lot of flexibility on how links are
With this solution, the visitor's browser is covertly sent
to the affiliate link without any visible signs of this
happening, then the browser is sent to the sales page as
normal. The link to the sales page is NOT an affiliate link,
just an ordinary link.
Example: Our affiliate link
The visitor is covertly sent to this link (with no visible
effects of this). The result is that the visitor's PC gets the
affiliate cookie ensuring that we get paid.
Now we send the visitor to
Notice that this is not an affiliate link - it
has NO traces of any affiliate information in it. The
visitor arriving at this link will see nothing to suggest that
we used an affiliate link. However when they buy, we still get
Covert Linking is more flexible than this though.
We can use it to plant our affiliate cookie and then send
the visitor to any page.
Hence if the site has a demonstration page that we want to
send people to, we can use the covert solution to plant the
cookie and then direct the visitor's browser directly to the
demonstration page. If they order as a result, we still get
We can even send visitors direct to the order page
using Covert Linking - or if we find an independent
review of the product, we can send visitors to that review
page (as long as the review page does not include an
affiliate link for the product).
Solution 5 - Covert or Embedded
Covert Cookies (also known as "Embedded Cookies" or "Cookie Stuffing") is a
another solution which almost completely hides the fact
that an affiliate link is being used.
All the other solutions we've looked at create a new
link to be used in place of the affiliate link. Covert
Cookies works differently though. With this solution, we plant
affiliate cookies on visitors' PCs before they've
even clicked on our link to visit the site.
For example, let's assume we have a web page which reviews
a hamster cage sold from
www.hamsters.com. With a Covert Cookies
solution, as soon as a visitor arrives on our review page,
their PC receives our affiliate cookie, without them
even knowing about it. This is before they have clicked
on our link to www.hamsters.com - in fact the
cookie will be planted even if they do not click on our link
This means that even if the visitor leaves our website
without clicking on our link to www.hamsters.com
and later finds the site using Google (or some other
methods), we will still get paid.
It also means that we can use a simple plain link to
www.hamsters.com on our review page, because
we've already planted the cookie. We don't need to use an
affiliate link, so this makes our review page look more like
an independent review instead of someone promoting an
affiliate program to earn money.
Now some affiliate program owners do not like this solution
because it can be abused by planting lots of cookies.
Consider that we could embed cookies for every site on
the Internet which sells hamster cages, without even bothering
to put links to any of them on our page. Every visitor to
our page would then have all these cookies on their
PC (without them even knowing about it). If
they subsequently bought a hamster cage (or anything
else) from any of these sites in future, we would get paid -
even though we never actually promoted any of the sites. This
may be good for us - but is not very ethical.
So if you want to use this solution, you should use your
own judgment and use it responsibly, only planting
cookies in conjunction with actually promoting the site.
It is also worth checking the affiliate program terms
before deploying this solution to make sure that the affiliate
program does not have any rules against it.
Please note that we are not able to provide ANY support
or assistance relating to use of this service
Created on April 11, 2017 - RightBiz.com.au