As Web surfers become more knowledgeable of how affiliate programs work, more people will omit your affiliate ID or use someone else's ID when ordering. Either way, you lose commissions you're supposed to get.
Using full window frame page is probably the most effective (though not perfect) way to prevent such loss. In fact, all of affiliate link cloaking software I know (including the famous Affiliate Link Cloaker ) uses this method. The address bar won't display your affiliate URL unless the affiliate site has a frame breaker. If visitors book mark, they will come back to your frame page. This means they use your affiliate ID every time. Also, keep in mind that "right click" → "view source" displays the affiliate site's source, not the source of your page that contains your ID.
Do It Yourself
If you like this type of protection, you can do it without buying software. You can use this online affiliate link cloaking tool . (It is still beta version, though.) Or, you can do it manually. (Maybe, there is a bug in my tool!)
If you decided to do by your hand, first, download the file "sources.zip" from here . It contains two files, "example.html" and "test.html." Open "example.html" with Windows Notepad. In the 5th line (without counting blank lines), you will find "affiliate_URL." Replace it with your actual affiliate URL. (Don't delete quotation marks.) Then, save the file with the name you like.
Basically, that is all you need to do, but Affiliate Link Cloaker has a few extra tricks. Let's see the source of their example page. Go to http://www.affiliatelinkcloaker.com/ese.html . From the browser's tool bar, select "view" → "source." (Don't right click.) You will see only a comment, and you might think the code is protected. But it's not. There are 45 carriage returns after the comment. You need to scroll down to see the codes. If you like this feature, replace "Howdy" in the first line of example.html with whatever you want to say, and put a lot of carriage returns after.
You will also notice the URL look like this, "ht..." These are numeric ampersand entities. Another way to display characters in Web browsers, (i.e. "a" is displayed as "a.") To convert your URL, replace each character of your affiliate link with the corresponding entity (Here is the list of the entities .) To check if you have converted the URL correctly, open "test.html" with Notepad and replace "URL_Here" with your numeric ampersanded URL and save. Then, open the file with your Web browser. You will see the URL in normal characters. Past that converted URL in "example.html," instead of the normal URL.
That's it. You've just hidden your affiliate link as secure as Affiliate Link Cloaker does.
In the e-book, "How to Hide Your Affiliate Links," you will find more detailed instructions and a few more extra tricks. Download the book for FREE!
You can get the book for yourself, or you can give it to your affiliates.
© August, 2003