Link Cloaking: Why and How to Cloak Affiliate Links Properly

Link CloakingThere is no doubt Affiliate Marketing can be a great source of income.

One can simply start a blog or Youtube channel to drive traffic and generate sales.

Sounds easy!

But affiliate marketing is not easy as it seems.

One of the main problems with affiliate marketing is that you have to work with lots of links.

Also Read: Affiliate marketing for Beginners: Steps by Step Guide

You can’t keep logging in each time to your affiliate dashboard to get links and be updating it manually. That would be a tiring task.

And If in any case, your affiliate link got broke you may miss lots of cash.

And another bad thing about affiliate links is that they look very ugly and are very hard remember.

So Link Cloaking is the perfect solution that will save time and make your affiliate links visually nice and easy to remember.

Here what you will learn:

  • What is Link Cloaking?
  • Why should you cloak your Affiliate Links?
  • Some Goods and Bads of Cloaking Links
  • How you can Cloak Affiliate Links

What is link cloaking?

Link cloaking or URL cloaking is a method to convert long and bulky links into short and pretty links.

Link Cloaking

And when someone cloak affiliate links with help of link cloaking software, tools and plugins this is known as Affiliate Link Cloaking.

You may have heard about URL shorteners like Google URL shortener and Tiny URL. These are the best example of Link cloaking Tools.

Here is an example of Affiliate Link:

After cloaking it with URL Shortener:

Above you can see the length of link get reduced but still is not look pretty and not easy to remember.

So at the end of this post, I will share 2 Best WordPress Plugins which you can use to Cloak Affiliate Links properly.

But before that, you should know about working of link cloaking.

How does link Cloaking work?Link Cloaking

Cloaking is just another name redirecting. When you cloak a link tool/plugin creates a new link with the redirect (Temporary and Permanent redirect).

When you click on that link your browser will redirect you to original URL.

Here is an example: 

Affiliate Link:

Cloaked Link:

When you click on cloaked URL your browser will redirect to the original URL.

Why is Affiliate Link Cloaking a Must Practice?

As I have already discussed few benefits of cloaking affiliate links with you but here are some other benefits.

 Ease of Management:

One of the great benefits of link cloaking is Easy Management.

Those days are gone when you have to search for each link and update them manually.

If you are using Link/URL cloaking plugin(WordPress) then there is no need to update each affiliate link manually.

You can modify and replace your affiliate links with few clicks and it will be implemented on the whole site. It will help you to save your time.

 Easy Tracking:Link Cloaking

Cloaking helps to keep track of clicks obtained on your affiliate link.

Some advanced tools can collect their Geographic location, Operating system, Screen resolution and referring pages.

And you can access the detailed reports easily and this will help you to understand your readers’ behavior.

And with help of those data, you get to know which product is the hot favorite among the audience and you can plan out your strategy.

 Reduce Commision Loss:

As being an affiliate marketer I know how hard it is to get clicks on affiliate links and converting into the sale.

If you affiliate links are naked then you can lose your affiliate commissions.

There are some Blackhat tools that can strip out your affiliate ID and replace it with scammers affiliate Id.

There are some other people who will copy your affiliate link and strip out your affiliate ID and visits the main site directly.

In that case, you will lose lots of money and you never got to know.

Also by cloaking link you can easily add No Follow tag to affiliate links that will stop the Search engines from indexing your affiliate links.

So its good idea to mask your affiliate links from visitors and search engines by cloaking them.

How to clock affiliate link in WordPress?

If you are advanced WordPress user you can use scripts to Cloak affiliate links. You can use this guide.

But if you are a newbie and want an easy solution you can use WordPress Plugins.

Some of the Best WordPress plugins to cloak affiliate links are:

1. Thirsty Affiliates:Link Cloaking

Thirsty Affiliate Link manager is my personal favorite. I am currently using Thirsty Affiliates on my blog.

It is a simple and effective solution to cloak your affiliate links. Its link categorization feature makes it easy to manage.

You just have to add an affiliate link to the dashboard and Thirsty affiliates will cloak it automatically.

While adding affiliate link you can change redirect type, No Follow/Do Follow setting and Open in new tab settings.


  1. Affiliate Link Picker Tool allows you add an affiliate link in WordPress editor.
  2. Customizable link prefix: Can change link prefix easily. Eg or link
  3.  No-Follow option.
  4.  Click Reports.
  5. Import and Export Feature.
  6. 3 Different Redirect type supported: 301, 302 and 307.
  7. Can add the image to the affiliate link.

2. Pretty Links:Link Cloaking

Shortlinks by Pretty Links is another great WordPress plugin for cloaking your affiliate link.

It helps you to make your affiliate links clean and short. Its tracking feature allows you to track the clicks record.


  1. Detailed Click reports (Include Ip, referring site.
  2. Link Grouping feature.
  3. Can control the redirect type.
  4. No-Follow Option.
  5. You can choose custom slug starting with your Domain Name. Eg

Final Notes:

If you are an affiliate marketer then link cloaking is a must practice for you.

If you are not cloaking your affiliate link you should start it from now. You can start with Thirsty Affiliates for free.

Cloaking not only protect your commission from fraudsters but it will also make your life lot easier.

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