Link Cloaking – Hiding Affiliate Links

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Link Cloaking, just like SEO, has been around for many years. It has it’s own advantages and disadvantages that people still don’t know. And for your information, Link Cloaking falls in the category of Black Hat Techniques. In this article, i’ll try to throw some light on Link Cloaking and it’s concept.Link CloakingLink CloakingLink Cloaking, as you can understand from the words itself, is the technique of hiding the original link behind an artificial url. It is like redirecting a user to another site when he/she clicks on a link that looks like the part of the site. It is often used by affiliates and online marketers to hide the long and non-attractive affiliate behind another short url.Use of Link CloakingIt hides the long affiliate linkThe users will know where they will get to after clicking the linkLink CloakingWhy Link Cloaking is used?There are many reasons that affiliate marketers cloak the affiliate links on their websites:1. Users don’t like to click on affiliate links. They know that the owner will get a commission if they make a purchase. It’s human nature that we can’t see someone getting benefited when we are losing.2. Cloaked links look neat and clean. They are short unlike the original affiliate links that are long and not so attractive.3. Cloaked links appear to be a part of the marketers website. And, it provides credibility to the marketer.4. Cloaked links also increases the conversion rate as more people tend to click on those short cloaked links more often. How to Cloak a Link?There as so many ways to cloak an affiliate links. You can use softwares and online tools to cloak links. If you are on WordPress , few link cloaking plugins are available like GoCodes (Free), Ninja Affiliates (Paid), Eclipse Link Cloaker (Paid & Free) and Pretty Link Pro (Paid).People are still confused on using link cloaking on their site or not.According to Google, Link Cloaking is against their Quality Guidelines and if they found anyone involved in link cloaking, his/her site will be removed from the search index and the site will no longer appear in search results.Google has made it clear that we should avoid link cloaking on our sites. I also recommend not using it. What’s your take on it? Is it legit or not?

brian

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