The main purpose of most websites is making money. And one of the most widely used methods of monetizing websites is promoting affiliate products. And when you promote an affiliate product, you drop its affiliate link in your content. However, search engines are known to not like websites promoting affiliate products. At least a large number of SEO experts agree on this.
Reasons for Cloaking Affiliate Links
If you perform a simple web search, you will come across so many reasons why you should cloak your affiliate links. Which in simple terms means redirect affiliate links. The main reason in the past and even now for cloaking affiliate links is hiding from the search engines that your website is an affiliate website. Most of the webmasters agree with this reason for cloaking affiliate links but there are 3 other reasons why all affiliates should give a thought to cloaking their affiliate links:
- Easy Management – There comes a time when you will need to change your affiliate links. It will be a lot easier exercise if you can centrally manage these affiliate links and edit or change these from one location.
- Protect PageRank Leak – In simple terms affiliate links are simply advertisements and as such should not leak your PageRank to the advertisers websites. If you try to nofollow each and every affiliate link, which will be an extremely painful and taxing exercise, you can ensure that you make all these links nofollow for search engines.
- Better Looking Links – Affiliate links are usually ugly looking and incomprehensible and involve a few redirects. However, by cloaking affiliate links you can get clean outgoing links like http://mywebsite.com/out/BuyProduct. These are simple, clean and better looking links that are user friendly as well.
Cloaking affiliate links Guide
The process for cloaking affiliate links is not difficult at all. It involves two basic steps and third step to use this set up.
- Create a folder on your website where the redirects will be served from. People mostly use /out/ folder name.
- Now add the following line to your robots.txt file to block this /out/ folder in your domain
- Now install a WordPress plugin for redirects
This is all about how to cloak affiliate links.