How To Protect Your Affiliate Links

Affiliate Marketing can be very lucrative, but your efforts can be wiped away if a customer types the domain directly, thus circumventing your affiliate link.  When this happens, you deserve to be paid… after all, it is you who introduced the customer to the vendor – and that is what affiliate marketing is all about.

So how do you protect yourself?  First, it is important to understand how affiliate links work.  In most affiliate systems, when a customer clicks on your link and is directed to the vendors website, the vendors affiliate system places a cookie on the customers system.  This cookie will allow you to get paid even if the customer re-enters the domain name directly into to the browser without your affiliate link or ID.

Before I go any farther, it is important to know that every vendor has its’ own affiliate policy.  Check out their policy before becoming an affiliate to make sure that it is acceptable to you.  Some vendors hold cookies for a long time, others do not, and still other may not even use cookies at all.  I am using cookies as an example because it is commonly used to protect our affiliate commissions.

Ok… let’s move on.  Now that you know that your affiliate commissions are usually protected, I will share with you how to make sure that the customer will click through your link so the cookie gets placed on their system.  Here are two ways you can do this.

  1. Use link cloaking.  Link cloaking works, but it also looks like a cloaked link.  If the cloaking website/company goes out of business or closes down for whatever reason, your links will no longer work …and you may have many thousands of links propagating over the Internet.  Link cloaking is commonly used, and is a pretty good solution.  If you want to have total control over your links, then link cloaking is not your best option.
  2. Use URL Redirect.  Using URL Redirects gives you control because you are not reliant on any other company or website.  Simply get a URL (domain name) and redirect it to your affiliate link which will send your customer to the vendor with your affiliate ID.  If you do not want to buy a new domain for every affiliate, you can simply buy one domain (or use one you already have) and make pages.  For instance, lets say you own a domain called “”, you can make a page for every affiliate link such as “”; “”; etc.  Where “vendor1” would be the name of the vendor, or any name that you choose.

Protect your affiliate links and maximize your affiliate earnings!


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Written by Scott Gilbert on June 30th, 2011 with 1 comment.
Read more articles on Affiliate Marketing and Marketing Tools.

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#1. August 19th, 2011, at 7:35 AM.

Affiliate programs can be a big source of revenue. The key to maximizing your earnings is engaging the readers.

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