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Dear Internet Friend,

Hi, My Name is Dustin Davis. Let me tell you about a product I've developed to thwart attempts to steal commission on my affiliate links... Read on.

The Problem

Many affiliates are getting their commissions stolen by other affiliates and customers who are changing their links and removing their affiliate IDs.

For example, lets say you get you are an affiliate for ProfitCalc. (ProfitCalc is a tool for helping you maximize your earning on your eBay auctions - created by a good friend of mine, Joel Peterson). If someone uses your link containing your affiliate ID as shown below, you get paid 60% of the profits:
http://hop.clickbank.net/?xhenxhe/profitcalc

That's great - unless let's say Joe Affiliate has a ClickBank ID and decides to replace your affiliate ID with his, thus making the 60% on the commission. This can be very upsetting considering you spent money advertising to get him to click on the link in the first place!

Let's say in scenario 2 you have Jane User surfing the web and clicks on one of your affiliate links. She lands on a page like:
http://www.youraffiliatewebpage.com/?id=youraffiliateid

Who knows why, but Jane decides to remove your affiliate ID off the end of the link. Maybe she wants to see what the real "homepage" is. Maybe she just wants to be mean. Maybe she thinks the item she is about to purchase will cost less money if it does not go through and affiliate. Who knows why? But she does it - and changes the link to:
http://www.youraffiliatewebpage.com

You are left again helping your merchant site receive money while you don't get a dime for it! (Scenario 2 is less likely to happen if your affiliate program stores cookies on the users computer. Cookies allow the merchant site to remember who revered the user - even months after their initial visit. The problem lies in whether the merchant/affiliate program uses cookies and whether the users browser has cookies enabled. Also, many 3rd party tools block affiliate program cookies.)

The Solution

LinkCloak!

There are a number of options to prevent affiliate links from being changed. As a web master and programmer with over 8 years of experience I know of several different methods - and I know the pros and cons to each. I have come up with what I feel is my best defense in protecting affiliate links.

When I set about creating a program for myself and others there were some goals I had in mind:

  1. Works

    • This is most important. It must stop the affiliate link hijacking!

  2. Web Based Application

    • This allows a user to use the tool anytime, anywhere, from any computer with an internet connection!

    • There is nothing to download and install.

    • Program enhancements are automatic. Since there is no software to install or uninstall, ou will always be using the latest and greatest code!

    • Available across all platforms - Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Unix, or whatever!

    • Anyone with a web-browser and internet connection can use this tool!

  3. KISS

    • Keep It Simple Stupid!

    • My mother-in-law could use this program! - well, maybe :)

  4. High Performance

    • Needs to be fast if its web based!

    • Should work on all 99.9% of visiting browsers (Seems reasonable doesn't it).

    • Personalized - branded with your domain name.

    • Encrypted - Not only cloaked, but encrypted as well. This prevents even expert programmers from taking the time to change your affiliate link!

    • Small output - Cloaked links should take up very little bandwidth.

  5. Great Value

    • Hey, it's FREE!

Well, I believe I have hit 100% of my goals here.

LinkCloak.com is a web based tool that allows you to sign on, enter basic affiliate link information and create your own page to load to your own domain.

You may have seen similar products on the market. Some of them take all of FIVE SECONDS to change the affiliate link and hijack your commission! That is why I built in double-layered encryptions underneath the affiliate link cloak for extra protection. While there may be a very small handful of programmers out there that could manage to find your html source code and decrypt both layers, the effort and time involved simply would not be worth it - making it virtually impossible to modify your affiliate link!

How it works

To see how LinkCloak.com creates your own pages with cloaked links visit:
http://linkcloak.com/ProfitCalc.html

  • Where's my affiliate link?

  • How will they steal my commission on this one?

  • Commission thieves and link hijackers don't stand a chance!

 

 

BONUS!

This is where it gets really good! As a special bonus, if you don't own your domain name or you would just like a fast shorter link that does not display your affiliate information you can use LinkCloak's ShortLink technology!

ShortLink allows you to take a long URL link and convert it to something much shorter (In the area of area of 22-25 characters!) No more having links broken by email programs! You can either choose to cloak these URL or do a simple redirect! Plus, with ShortLink you can can edit links and track hits received.

As a real life example and initial test of LinkCloak's short link technology, a while back I posted to a Perl user group I belong to. I made a recommendation for a good book to get users started learning Perl. I figured I might as well throw on my Amazon affiliate link as long as I was going to post. Here is the original link:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0764547291/ldspdacom-20

Anyone familiar with Amazon associates links could easily recognize my affiliate id attached (ldspdacom-20). Plus, many email programs with split long URLs across multiple lines making the link unusable. So I used LinkCloak to make it shorter:
http://linkcloak.com/1

You can also cloak ShortLinks! The above link would take them to the site and show the original link URL in their address bar once they arrived at the destination page. If I wanted to hide that information as well, I could simply specify this and and give it a page title. All the user would see in his/her address bar is:
http://linkcloak.com/1

This will take the user directly to the appropriate link! Sign up now and get the shortest links!

To YOUR commissions,

Dustin Davis
LinkCloak.com

 

 


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