This method is aimed to protect your traffic sources and landing pages from unwanted viewers. It’s important here to understand what referrer is. This term stands for a piece of info that is your hidden companion when you’re browsing.
It tells what page did you come from to the ones who can read it. Referrer cloaking in affiliate marketing makes it impossible or at least very difficult to read this peace of info and to unveil your landing pages and traffic sources.
It’s obvious that redirects will be an essential part of this method as the best way to protect initial page from being detected. It’ll be very useful for you to make money on traffic arbitrage with Google Adwords and Facebook. There are three main approaches you can use here.
Meta-refresh method of cloaking
This one works in a rather simple way. The “head” part of the document is upgraded with a special code, which makes the browser first to refresh, and then go to the final URL.
This kind of cloaking in affiliate marketing inserts a little additional step between the click and the final page. User’s browser starts to load only the head of the first page and then goes to the destination page.
To make everything even more secure a double meta-refresh method is used. It presumes that the whole process is repeated twice and only then the final page is loaded.
What does it give to you? Now the referrer is the second page of meta-refresh process, so it’s impossible to find the initial page. This way of cloaking in affiliate marketing is effective, but it slows the loading speed because of two intermediate pages.
The combination of PHP header and SSL
This kind of redirect with code 301 or 302 is a method that doesn’t slow the users on their way to the destination page. At the same time, the original referrer is transmitted to the next redirect page.
This is where SSL is required to hide the mentioned referrer. At the same time, this kind of secure connection slows the loading speed significantly.
Such approach to cloaking in affiliate marketing allows you to hide your info using a couple of redirects and secure pages. If we take direct linking as an example, the second step after your source of traffic will be HTTP link of your tracking.
Then goes HTTPS redirect page. The last step is destination page. In case you use a landing page, then it will be loaded via HTTPS instead of redirect page as a third step.
It all works because HTTPS doesn’t let referrer to go further to insecure HTTP. But why does this method of cloaking in affiliate marketing require four steps?
The deal is that some browsers may deliver referrer to the destination point even if the way goes from HTTP via HTTPS to another HTTP. They just seem to omit secure HTTP.
The mentioned way of cloaking allows you to easily stop initial referrer from passing further. At the same time, it all will slow the loading speed.
Cloaking in affiliate marketing: hiding real destination page
It sometimes happens that offers and landing pages don’t match the list of rules your traffic source has. In this case affiliates may use cloaking to show the reviewers not the real offer page or landing page, but the one that meets the rules of your traffic source.
This kind of cloaking in affiliate marketing is based on a special tracking system. It’s collecting information about campaign reviews, which comes from your source of traffic. When you’re approved, this tracking tool starts to do its job.
The system directs real user to actual offer page or landing page, while sending reviewers to another one, which perfectly meets the rules of your traffic source.
Still, it’s not a good idea to use this method as a newbie. Such approach to cloaking in affiliate marketing is considered as a black hat one, so this is definitely a bad way to start your online money making with affiliate programs.
Cloaking shouldn’t be a common practice for you as a marketer. Yes, there are some cases when it’s necessary to be used. At the same time, it’s much better to build your online business without hiding anything from other market players.
This will give you more trust and respect from your business partners. At the same time, it’s up to you whether to use cloaking in affiliate marketing. You earn money on it and it’s not something bad in trying to protect your business.
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