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  1. #1
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    Question Does cloaking work - is it a good idea?
    Hi all,
    I've been in affiliate marketing only a few months and have read several articles about cloaking URLs so your sales aren't hijacked. I subscribed to Linkshield and am using it for one of my sites. So, my question are:

    Do you think cloaking is really necessary?
    How easy is it for someone to hijack your sales if links are not cloaked?
    Has anyone used Linkshield? - If so, what do you think of the service?

    Its a pain to replace all links and then its not too easy to review the link sometimes (have to open Linkshield and find the link in the Summary). I also use Commission Junction, so I encrypt the links I get from there. I'm assuming this does the same thing.

    Appreciate any info.

  2. #2
    Marketing Mistress Lectrickitty's Avatar
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    Based on the info I've read, cloaking will not prevent a hijack. If I'm wrong someone please jump in here and educate me.
    [color=blue]"Those who give up their freedom for a little security deserve neither freedom nor security" - Benjamin Franklin[/color]

  3. #3
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I think it might prevent some, but there are many other advantages to cloaking your links.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  4. #4
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    I've noticed that although the link is cloaked in the address bar, it still shows in my status bar. Can it be hijacked from here?

  5. #5
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    The status bar is irrelevant. No matter what you do, some parasites will be able to intercept the link.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  6. #6
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    The status bar is irrelevant. No matter what you do, some parasites will be able to intercept the link.
    Some sites use basic obfuscation in the status bar on mousovers, so what is obsfuscated via javascript really offers no protection (unless afsrc=1 is appended and honored by the parasite)

    Most (99.999 %) of the parasites read the clicked link (to the merchant) and rediredirect on that.

    Based on what I've seen in google (un official) I'd say kill the afsrc and team up with merchants who aren't parasitic. The big G hates Affs and has identified afsrc=1 as an affiliate code and dumped them into oblivion (or soon to be virtual oblivion). Pick your merchants wisely and your OK!
    Last edited by MichaelColey; November 5th, 2005 at 09:12 AM. Reason: Changed affsrc to afsrc
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  7. #7
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    Great advice guys - thanks for educating me.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Nature Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haiko de Poel, Jr.
    Some sites use basic obfuscation in the status bar on mousovers, so what is obsfuscated via javascript really offers no protection (unless affsrc=1 is appended and honored by the parasite)
    Shouldn't that be afsrc=1?
    Scott
    If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, then baffle them with bulls#!t
    Don't tell me that you'll do it... SHOW ME.
    Just because everyone else is drinking it is no reason for me to drink the KOOL-AID.

  9. #9
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Yes Scott, it should, it was late.

    It is afsrc=1
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Nature Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haiko de Poel, Jr.
    Yes Scott, it should, it was late.
    Quite understandable, I've been having my fare share of those myself. I think we'll let you slide on that one

    Myself, I like to use link cloaking. There used to be a post around here with a php script (which I can't currently find) that is what I currently use. I've tweaked it myself some and have had some success with it. I also like how the links are cleaner looking without the usual affiliate looking links that could possibly turn some people off from my pages.
    Scott
    If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, then baffle them with bulls#!t
    Don't tell me that you'll do it... SHOW ME.
    Just because everyone else is drinking it is no reason for me to drink the KOOL-AID.

  11. #11
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Question
    Quote Originally Posted by Nature Boy
    Shouldn't that be afsrc=1?
    Excuse my ignorance, but what is "afsrc" or "afsrc=1"? I've looked through the post recommended by MichaelColey and couldn't find anything on it there... Please educate me.

    Thanks,

    Geno

  12. #12
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    If you append your affiliate links with "afsrc=1" the parasites are suposed to leave them alone, but knowing what a bunch of lying thieving immoral asoles the parasite owners are you can take it as a given that this will not stop them overwriting/diverting any sales they can get their dirty grubby little hands on.
    One day parasites and their ilk will be made illegal, I bet a few Lawyers will be pissed off when the day comes.
    Mr. Spitzer is fetching it nearer

    YouTrek

  13. #13
    Marketing Mistress Lectrickitty's Avatar
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    Geno, Here's a post that expains it. http://forum.abestweb.com/showpost.p...28&postcount=9
    [color=blue]"Those who give up their freedom for a little security deserve neither freedom nor security" - Benjamin Franklin[/color]

  14. #14
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I've always been skeptical of afsrc=1. Some parasites might not intercept your links (if they're "honest parasites" and their technology works right), but I can also see how dishonest parasites, search engines, and others could use it to our disadvantage. To me, it's a wash. I've never used it, and I never intend to.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  15. #15
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    I personaly think the whole afscr=1 farce was just something dreamed up by the Networks to try and divert affiliates attention from the fact that they have no intention whatsoever of removing the thieving scumbags from their respective Networks until they are absolutely forced to by a Court of Law.

    The day will come, it is just a matter of can you survive just on your affiliate earnings until that day comes?
    One day parasites and their ilk will be made illegal, I bet a few Lawyers will be pissed off when the day comes.
    Mr. Spitzer is fetching it nearer

    YouTrek

  16. #16
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Thanks for explaining, Gordon and thanks for the link, Lectrickitty!

    Geno

  17. #17
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    what is the difference between cloaking and masking? Which is better?
    [URL=]http://www.intelefone.net/voipvincent[/URL]

  18. #18
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    >It works like a charm. I creates an html file similar to an SSL encoded file. You name the file whatever you want, put it up on your server and just post the address as www.yourserver.com/filename and it goes right to your affilate page.

    So it's just a server side redirect? You can do that for free.

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