Affiliate Link Cloaking Software?

I was reading a post on affiliate link cloaking on a forum today.

I thought I could make a useful contribution and began to write, but I was sidetracked for an hour or so.
After getting back, I saw a couple of answers, that really amazed me.
They were all about special desktop software to cloak affiliate links. And no, they were not affiliate links, nor, as far as I could determine, own programs.

I often wonder what is so difficult about cloaking links.
You can do that using:

  • Meta refresh tag in the header of your html like
    <title>Redirect to affiliate page</title>
    <meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”0;URL=”>
  • using Javascript like
    <script type=”text/javascript”>
    window.location = “”
  • using 301 redirects in your htaccess file
  • using PHP, the method I often use. Just create a blank page, ending at .php and containing
    header(“HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently”);
    header( ‘Location: ‘ ) ;

If you put these pages in a separate directory, you have all your cloaked links nicely organized together.
And if your host provides stats, you can also see how often a page was referred to.

The advantage of creating affiliate cloaking links on your own server is that you can always change them and you are not depending on someone else’s service. You have everything in your own hands.

My advice is to keep your hidden affiliate links at your own website.
What do you think?
Post your comments.

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2 thoughts on “Affiliate Link Cloaking Software?

  1. Doug,

    As I search the Net to find SE friendly redirects, it is said, that SE’s don’t really like HTTP redirects, because it’s often used by spammers.

    They prefer the .htaccess method, where you can specify that a link is permanently moved (301) or the PHP method, including the 301.

    Since it’s perfectly simple to create the PHP redirect page, I prefer to use them.

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