Affiliate Link Cloaking: Definition, Reasons & How To's

The subject has been revived over the past few days, and I think it’s important to link from my blog to some useful data on the topic of affiliate link cloaking.

What is Affiliate Link Cloaking?

Let’s start with a quick definition. To cloak is a beautiful verb that Webster’s Dictionary defines as “to cover or hide with or as if with a cloak,” in other words, to disguise [source]. Link cloaking is therefore link disguising (from bots and/or humans) by hiding the actual affiliate link behind one that doesn’t look like an affiliate URL. Instead of having your affiliate link to’s grills look like this:

You can cloak it to look like something like this:

Why would you want to cloak your affiliate links? My friend Scott Jangro has listed 5 reasons why affiliates cloak links:

  1. To make long URLs more manageable
  2. To prevent commission leaks
  3. Not to look like affiliate sites to search engines
  4. To prevent passing of “link juice”
  5. To hide links from “hijackers”

He explained the reasoning behind each of the above in detail, and also listed a few of the ways of how one can cloak affiliate links. Read his full post here: Link Cloaking, What is it?

Additionally, see Shawn Collins’ recent post (and video) on the same topic here: Affiliate Link Redirecting And Cloaking.

1 thought on “Affiliate Link Cloaking: Definition, Reasons & How To's”

  1. Excellent overview of link cloaking. Affiliates should be aware of the usefulness of link cloaking in order to protect themselves from click fraud.

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