Link Cloaking Alternatives to Pinurl or Tinyurl
Remember pinurl.com?It's Gone.
This was a link cloaking service to mask your urls and lots of internet marketers used this service toÂ promote their affiliate products. Guess what? It's gone. At least at the time of writing this, if you try to access your account, you'll see nothing but a "Pinurl.com is shut down" message.
But this is something common, and in the past it happened with 100's of other free web based cloaking services. Now, think of this: you make big efforts putting your short urls (from those free sites) on different videos, articles and so on andÂ then....bam! They close their doors. A complete waste of time.
Free Url Shortener Services:Â Sooner or Later...90% Of Them Will Close Their Doors.
Image 50 or more videos labeled with those free url's. Who will get the traffic now? Nice question. But what is worst, it is said that some free services randomly replace the affiliate nick with their own affiliate nick!
Now, as an affiliate marketer you should have complete control of your affiliate links. That's why those free web based solutions (like tinyurl.com) are the worst option for cloaking your links. The key is to cloak your links on your own sites. And this is not difficult at all.
Cloaking Affiliate Links on Your Own Site.
Link Cloaking programs are a good option to cloak your affiliate links on your own site with a couple of clicks, so you keep the control and prevent commission theft. How do they work?
Suppose that you want to promote an affiliate product (a clickbank url for example) and this is your affiliate url:
Well, you go to the link cloaker, enter that url and the vendor url. The software will generate a file that you have toÂ upload to your site.
For example you can upload the generated file to http://www.yoursite.com/recommends/xyz (i always like to create a folder for each product to promote under a "recommends" folder. That's all!
From now one, each time that you want to recommend that product, you'll link to that url, your affiliate link will be tracked, and the visitor will be redirected to the vendor url (but your affiliate id will remain invisible). Good thing.
Link Cloaking Tools.
There are many programs to do this job. Two recommended tools are Affiliate Cloner and The Hidden Affiliate. Both are good but THA is by far a better choice.
This software has different features like the support for dynamic conversion tracking, which means that you can track where are your sales coming from by just uploading a single file to your site. Thing that you can't do with affiliate cloner.
For example, ifÂ you want to track conversions for 50 adwords keywords with AC, you need to generate and upload 50 files to your sites! Just for that product. A complete waste of time. THA also supports url masking and url redirection (2 important options) and best of all, it has an affordable price.
Cloaking your affiliate links on your own site is a better (and more secure)Â option for recommending other peoples products.Â When you use this linking strategy, you don't have to be worried for different things that could happen with a free service.