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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Hiding link destination in status bar - Does it make a difference?
    I've been thinking over this for a little while now, and can't really come to any kind of conclusion. For those of you familiar with CJ, you know that you can "cloak" a link's destination, in such a way as the status bar will display more user-friendly information. For instance, instead of seeing a jumbled URL, you might see something like "Buy This Widget at Widget.com".

    Here are my questions:

    1) Do you think having something like this can positively affect a visitor's decision to purchase? In my experiences, I don't usually click on a link without first seeing where I'm going. If I see something as weird as CJ's URLs, it would be possible I might never visit. What do you think?

    2) I've been hearing a little bit here and there about "link cloaking", and the possibility that it may interfere with sales/impression tracking. Can anyone chime in with their experiences in this matter?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    1. You actually answered it yourself :
    In my experiences, I don't usually click on a link without first seeing where I'm going. If I see something as weird as CJ's URLs, it would be possible I might never visit.
    If you feel this way, there are bound to be others (me included). I prefer to remove any hint of "weirdness" on my sites. The more natural they look, the better.

    2. Link cloaking (not the browser kind, but the cgi, php or whatever kind) is another convention I especially wouldn't do without. Keeps people from copying your links and prevents some of the virus/spyware software from blocking.

    Both of these are easy to implement and the way I see it, if anything can give an advantage...use it.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input, Bethany. Yeah, those monster URLs keep annoying me, and I'm sure the visitor as well.

    So, you don't think the masking would interfere with tracking of any kind? I really want to use this feature (like CJ's 'encrypt link' or 'hide tracking code' - whichever it is), but b/c my profit margins are kind of tight, I don't want to make CJ any more confused than it already is.

    And if I shouldn't use CJ's features, do you have any suggestions on some reading material for doing it server side?

    Thanks again.

  4. #4
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    i wouldn't be happy with CJ's URLs but when it replaced with something like 'Buy This Widget' - i will think that there's something to hide.. the same 'bad' URL.. don' like it

  5. #5
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    I doesn't interfere with tracking, but I wouldn't encrypt the links if you're going to use a cloaking script. It's redundant and probably worse (CJ has to unencrypt them and the less CJ has to do, the better).

    I use a free script called Clicktracker from Focalmedia.net. Works with mySql and is easy to implement.

    Manigate, I use the product title as my browser cloaked link, so it's simply a redundant product name.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    (in response to mingate's post)

    Good point. Actually, what I'd like to replace it with is simply the root URL of the destination page (my initial example was a bad one). So, instead of something like: www.qeiujreakd.com/jasdk.asp?etcetc (where the merchant site is www.buythiswidgetthingy.com). I would simply replace it with:

    http:/www.buythiswidgetthingy.com

    That would be a bit more difficult for the end user to determine (whether it's a masked link or not).

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bethany
    I doesn't interfere with tracking, but I wouldn't encrypt the links if you're going to use a cloaking script. It's redundant and probably worse (CJ has to unencrypt them and the less CJ has to do, the better).

    I use a free script called Clicktracker from Focalmedia.net. Works with mySql and is easy to implement.

    Manigate, I use the product title as my browser cloaked link, so it's simply a redundant product name.
    Great, thanks for the suggestion Bethany! Going to check it out today.

  8. #8
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    probably it's better if the original URL will appear..

  9. #9
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bethany
    Link cloaking (not the browser kind, but the cgi, php or whatever kind) is another convention I especially wouldn't do without. Keeps people from copying your links and prevents some of the virus/spyware software from blocking.
    Are you referring to something different that encrypting?

    Is there a tutorial on link cloaking anywhere?
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  10. #10
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    Might just be semantics, since there are so many ways to say the same thing in this biz :-)

    The bit you quoted would be better identified (in my mind) as "link redirection", not encrypting, since there's not actual encryption/decryption going on. Encrypted links come from using CJs encryption.

    There's a forum here for link cloaking that you might find useful:
    http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=152

  11. #11
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bethany

    There's a forum here for link cloaking that you might find useful:
    http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=152
    Thanks
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Here's a post I made that explains how to do a redirect with Webmerge:

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showpost.p...41&postcount=7

    It's a server-side redirect which is most ideal. Every link will look something like this:

    www.yourdomain.com/click.php?sku=ABCD1234

    Enjoy!
    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  13. #13
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Thanks, Scott. You are always helpful
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  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks for all of the great info. This is exactly why I like ABW; straight answers with no BS.

    Thanks again.

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador HumbleFish's Avatar
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    Hi MoneyBusiness, and All,

    I myself use the hide link in status bar feature for the reason that if you feature several different products from several different merchants on a single page it makes it easy to figure out what merchants the links belong to... For example, if you use the feature you can tell where the links go to just by running your pointer over the link... Helps me out quite alot.

    Love You,
    HumbleFish

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Hey, good info, thanks Humblefish!

    I think i'll probably end up with one of the merchants listed above. At least see how it goes for a while.

    Thanks again!
    Last edited by MoneyBusiness; April 12th, 2006 at 03:41 PM. Reason: It didn't make sense.. ;)

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador HumbleFish's Avatar
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    You're welcome.
    Last edited by HumbleFish; April 12th, 2006 at 04:20 PM. Reason: spelling

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