Increase your affiliate profits and your site’s SEO value by link cloaking.
Why cloak your links?
Big G is slapping affiliate sites
Cloak your links mostly because Google is on a mission to slap affiliate sites and get them off the first page of the serps. All those sites that have a bunch of affiliate links, advertisements, & hotlinked images are being targeted. Minus google’s own AdSense of course (aww thanks big G). Sooo, do yourself a favor and cloak your external links! lol
Each link and image link that links to an external site is leaking your seo power to someone elses site. Cloak all of your external links AND external image links so that they become internal links and keep your own juice on your site.
Prevent Link Theft
Some people will hover over the affiliate link and then just re-type it in another window preventing you from receiving the commission for the sale. I never understood why they would do this… I mean they don’t save any money by doing this, and why prevent you from receiving commission when obviously your site is what led them to the buy? Its just low. but, again, Cloaking.. hint hint. lol
Prevent Link Hijacking
Hackers have spyware on a users browser so that when a user clicks on an affiliate link, the spyware will transparently replace your aff id with the hackers aff id, thus giving them the commission. aghh those little fockers. lol. so uh, cloak.. lol
What about php redirect and NoFollow tags?
Well, some say that php redirects won’t fool google anymore. I’m not sure I agree that one yet though. I’ll have to research that one a little more. But as far as NoFollow tags, they just keep your pagerank from leaking, but the bots still crawl the external link.
* You can also find a nice cloaking plugin that preloads cookies. This way if they read your content, but don’t click on your link, and go elsewhere… well, you can figure that out… (unless they hit another affiliate site).
I myself just started using cloak.fm plugin for wordpress but not sure how good it is yet, so I won’t put an affiliate link on here… basically, use at your own risk. lol.