Cloaking is a widely known term in the world of affiliate marketing. This has been a highly talked about topic since this technique can be utilized for black hat purposes. But what is cloaking?
Cloaking pertains to a technique in Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, wherein contents presented to search engine spiders are different from the contents shown to the users’ browsers.
This is performed by delivering content based on the user requesting the page’s IP address or User-agent HTTP header.
As the name implies, cloaking is an act to shield something from somebody’s eyes. In this modern digital world, this could mean showing a page to one type of site visitor and another different page to another visitor. Cloaking links is also done so that the display link will be modified or changed to a friendlier-looking link.
Cloaking is also being used to hide information and landing pages as well. There are several good reasons for affiliates to cloak their landing pages. Some reasons are valid, while others are somewhat shady.
Some traffic sources do not allow specific services or products to be promoted. For example, an affiliate or a member has an adult offer that he needs to upgrade, yet the the traffic provider does not acknowledge and accept that offer. A companion will cloak a landing page so that when an analyst from the traffic source checks on the page, he’ll be diverted to a more wholesome page that satisfies them. When the campaign is endorsed, and real users and clients come in, they will be coordinated to make actual offers.
The affiliate eventually circumvents the guidelines of the traffic provider. Is this a legit practice? Certainly not. When the traffic provider successfully catches this affiliate, he will be kicked out of the traffic source and might be restricted from making more accounts later. This is viewed as black hat practice.
Keeping an eye on your rivals is expected in this industry. A few affiliates strive to make their points and landing pages. A couple of days or even hours later, another member rips off that page (utilizing a specific spy tool) without changing much as a word and places their affiliate link.
Be careful about such rivals; some affiliates would search for the IPs of their opponents, so when a client comes from that IPs, they’re diverted and redirected to an alternate landing page. Along these lines, the affiliate dissuades rivals from ripping off their page.
These are the common reasons why affiliate uses Cloaker. Nevertheless, individuals who are into affiliate marketing must be able to distinguish the good practices from the wrong ones to ensure positive results.
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