Have you ever wanted to hide your affiliate links from your readers and search engine bots?
While you can hide your affiliate links by using a URL shortener service, but it is not the right way. The best way is to use a WordPress Link Cloaker Plugin.
If you are wondering why you should hide your affiliate links, here’s the answer for you.
Affiliate links are pretty ugly. They look spammy to both readers and bots. Here is an affiliate link –
It’s long and ugly. It might confuse some people. So it’s a good idea to hide this link and make it awesome. Here is the cloaked version of the affiliate link.
It’s sweet, simple, and easy to remember. And it won’t confuse the readers.
Benefits of Hiding Affiliate Links
Before moving to the tutorial on how to hide affiliate links, I’d like to share some advantages of hiding affiliate links.
- Readers & SEO Friedly – Whenever you add the original affiliate link on your blog, visitors often get confused about where they’re going to. If you are using third-party affiliate links like Shareasale, CJ, Clickbank, etc, then it becomes more confusing. On the other hand, Google bots hate too many affiliate links.
- Easy to Manage – Sometimes you may need to change your affiliate links if the affiliate networks change their link structure. It will be painful if you don’t have any centralized management.
- Easy to Remember – If you publish podcasts or Youtube videos, you can use a cloaked version of your affiliate links there. It will be easier for your audience to remember the link.
- More sales – Many people don’t like to click on affiliate links. If you have a clear link, it won’t scare people away.
ALSO READ: 10 Best WordPress Plugins For Smart Affiliate Marketers
How to Hide Affiliate Links In WordPress
You can hide affiliate links by editing .htaccess file. But it’s complicated. Using an Affiliate Link Cloaker WordPress plugin is the easiest way. There are plenty of affiliate link cloak plugins available. Thirsty Affiliates is my personal favorite.
Thirsty Affiliates is a free Affiliate Link Manager WordPress plugin. It also offers some premium add-ons to make affiliate link management easier. You can quickly hide your ugly affiliate links by using this plugin. Let’s see how to do it.
1. At first, install the Thirsty Affiliate WordPress plugin. (Read: How to Install a Plugin)
2. Once you’ve activated the plugin, it will add new “ThirstyAffiliates” menu in your WordPress admin panel. Then click on ‘Settings’ from the ThirstyAffiliates menu.
The default settings are fine. You don’t have to change anything here.
The only you can consider changing is ‘Link Prefix’. This prefix will be used before your cloaked link’s slug. If you select “go” as link prefix, your affiliate link will be like http://yourdomain.com/go/affiliate-link/. At RoadToBlogging, we use “go” as a link prefix.
Just click on the ‘Link Appearance’ and select a link prefix.
Then I’d suggest you configure two more things. Check the box for “Use no follow on links?” and “Open links in new window?” as Yes.
You can go with default settings for other options. Click on “Save Changes” to save your settings.
3. Now let’s see how to add new affiliate links using Thirsty Affiliate.
It’s extremely easy. Just go to ThirstyAffiliates > New Affiliate Link. Put affiliate product/service name in the ‘Add title’ box (1), and affiliate link in the ‘Destination URL’ box (2). Then select a category (3) and click on the ‘Save Link’ button.
Once you’ve clicked on “Save Link”, you will get your “Cloaked URL” under “Destination URL”.
That’s it. You are done. Start using the cloaked affiliate link.
Over to You
Hope you found this post useful. If you have any questions regarding this, feel free to ask us via comment. If you are using any other plugins to hide your affiliate links, share your experience with us. And consider sharing this post on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
How to show each ad on each post?
If you want to show specific widget on specific post, you can use Clever Widget.
Nice article sir. Your writing is always appreciate.
Thanks for the kind words.
Hey, thanks for the plugin.
Pls. let me know which one is best? this one OR pretty link.
Pretty link auto index the cloaked link in search engine, what the solution of it?
Thirsty Affiliate is better. You can stop indexing affiliate link by using robots.txt file. Just disallow the prefix on robots.txt file. If your prefix is “go”, add the line “Disallow: /go/” on your robots.txt file.
Read: How to Edit Robots.txt File.
Thanks for reply, am using yoast plugin and nofollow the thirsty affiliate links there. Its enough? or I need to add this line(Disallow: /go/) in robots.txt
Yes, it’s enough. I basically did two things.
1. Excluded affiliate links from the the sitemap by using Yoast. (check here)
2. Disallowed prefix in robots.txt file. (Check here)
Now I don’t have to make affiliate links nofollow all the time.
This is something which I was searching on Google, but I think Thirsty Affiliate is paid. Is that any free plugin available?
Thirsty Affiliate is a free plugin that has premium add-ons. You can use main plugin for free.