AFFILIATE CLOAKING - REDIRECT URLS

Frame Breaker HTML:

<head>
<script>
if(self!=top) { url=self.location.href;
if(document.images) { top.location.replace(url); }
else { top.location.href=url; } }
else { self.focus(); }
</script>
</head>

Do not Cloak or hide your affiliate links like this:

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 Affiliate URL Cloaking with .htaccess Redirect

This method requires editing the .htaccess file in your document root directory.

Definitions:

.htaccess file
This is a plain text file named ".htaccess" (note the leading period) that tells the server what to do under certain conditions. Edit with a plain text word processor like NotePad or BBEDit. You might or might not already have a .htaccess file on your server; use your FTP program to check. (Note that some servers are configured to hide the .htaccess file name from directory listings. To see if that's the case on your server, manually type in the file name and tell your FTP program to download it. If the file exists, it should download. If the file doesn't exist, the FTP program should provide a message to that effect.)
 
document root directory
This is the directory in which your main/index page is located on your server. The main/index page would be the web page that is loaded by default if only your domain name is typed into a browser.

The page you're going to redirect doesn't have to exist. In fact, it shouldn't exist because nobody gets to see it anyway.

This is how it works:

A link is clicked to a certain web page on your server. The server, instead of fetching the web page and giving it to the browser, just redirects the browser to a new URL.

It's very fast.

First, make up a web page file name for each affiliate link URL you want to redirect. For example, master.htm and form.htm for the Master Series home page and the Master Form V3 description page.

Next, add a line to your .htaccess file for every redirect. Assuming the above two examples and assuming your Affiliate ID is "xx", these two lines would be added:

redirect 301 /master.htm http://willmaster.com/master/?xx

redirect 301 /form.htm http://willmaster.com/master/formV3/?xx

As you can see, each line has four parts, with a space between each part:

  1. The word "redirect" is the first part. It tells the server what the line is for.
  2. The number "301" is the second part. It tells the server what result code to give the browser.
  3. The third part is a slash and the file name you've decided upon.
  4. The last part is the URL where the browser shall be redirected to. (Remember to replace xx with your own Affiliate ID.)

Now, this is what happens (assuming your domain name is example.com):

You publish a link to http://example.com/master.htm

When it's clicked the browser is redirected to http://willmaster.com/master/?xx immediately after contacting your server.

Similarly, you publish http://example.com/form.htm and when it's clicked the browser is immediately redirected to http://willmaster.com/master/formV3/?xx

It's fast because no web page or script has to be loaded before the redirect can happen.

 

Affiliate Tip - Use .htaccess Redirects

There are many reasons to redirect affiliate links, such as the ability to shorten them for text newsletters, and cloaking your links.  

The most common was to redirect links is with a META refresh tag or a JavaScript. This is easy enough, but there's an even better, easier way to redirect your links: the .htaccess redirect.

An .htaccess file is a plain ASCII text file you place in the root directory of a Unix server. The .htaccess technique is much easier than using other redirects, because there's no HTML required. All of your redirects are in one text file.

htaccess uses redirect to look for any request for a specific page (or a non-specific location, though this can cause infinite loops) and if it finds that request, it forwards it to a new page you have specified. For instance:

Redirect /olddirectory/oldfile.shtml http://www.yourdomain.com/newdirectory/newfile.shtml

In the example above, there are three parts, and they should all be on one line:

  • the Redirect command
  • the location of the file/directory you want redirected relative to the root of your site (/olddirectory/oldfile.shtml = yourdomainsite.com/olddirectory/oldfile.shtml)
  • the full URL of the location where you want to redirect

Each of the three parts is separated by a single space, and all must be on one line. You can also redirect an entire directory by simply using:

Redirect /olddirectory http://www.yourdomain.com/newdirectory/

Using this method, you can redirect any number of pages no matter what you do to your directory structure.

Please note - you should be careful if you're going to edit an existing .htaccess file. Before making any changes, make a copy of the original file, so if you make any mistakes, you'll still have the orignal file.

Affiliate Tip - Java Redirects

This redirect, however, is speeded up with JavaScript. If the browser is JavaScript-enabled, the redirect kicks in *before* the page finishes loading. Even a fraction of a second can make a big difference to an impatient prospective customer.

First, make a web page with the following HTML code:

<html>

<head>

<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0; url=URLGOESHERE">

<script type="text/javascript" language="JavaScript"><!--

window.location="URLGOESHERE";

//--></script>

</head>

<body>

</body>

</html>

Next, replace both instances of URLGOESHERE with your affiliate URL.

Decide on an appropriate file name for the web page ("master.htm" for example, or emulating the name of the program you're linking to, like "form.htm"). Once the file name has been decided, upload the web page to your server.

Now you can simply publish the URL of your web page instead of your affiliate link URL. The web page will redirect the prospective customer with your affiliate link.

Note that this can appear to disable the browser's "back" button. The "back" button needs to be clicked twice, in rapid succession (just a twitch slower than a double-click) in order to get back to the original page where the link was clicked.

One way to bypass what could be an annoyance is for the link to open a new window. This way, when the new window is closed, the previous window will be at the original web page

Affiliate Tip - Affiliate Frames

ONE STEP TO INSTALL AN AFFILIATE FRAME PAGE:

1. Paste the code and save as a new HTML document (replace my title, affiliate URL, and pixel code with your own).

<!-- STEP ONE: Copy this code and paste it as a new HTML file -->

<html><head><title>INSERT TITLE OF YOUR PAGE HERE</title></head>
<frameset rows=100%,*><frame src="YOUR-AFFILIATE-LINK"></p>
<noframes><body>
<p>This page uses frames, but your browser
doesn't support them.</p>
<p>Click <a
href="YOUR-AFFILIATE-LINK">
<IMG SRC="YOUR-AFFILIATE-IMPRESSION-URL"
BORDER="0"
WIDTH="1"
HEIGHT="1"
NOSAVE>here</a>
to continue.</p>
</body></noframes></frameset><body></html>
 

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