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Cloaking Long Links Using TinyURL

eblro01
Posts: 13
Joined: 18 Nov 08
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Cloaking Long Links Using TinyURL

Hi,

Has anyone used links created by TinyURL instead of the rather long links that otherwise would be needed to either link to your affiliate pages, or to link to different pages inside a Wordpress site (for example)?

Does this cause any problems with SEO, or the ability to have your affiliate link properly recorded?

Thanks in advance to anyone who can offer help.

Regards,

Bob Ebling
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jasondodd
Posts: 874
Joined: 08 Feb 09
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hi bob ... its generally a good practice to use the full URL if you can (particularly for your WP pages) and its less maintenance. tinyurl is great for twitter or email marketing where a long link could get broken across two lines. tinyurl is generally reliable but there have been known outages. the other option is use a cloaking WP plugin.

as for SEO google is not too enthusiastic about lots of affiliate links, even if you disguise it with a tinyurl and a nofollow tag, it will still get indexed, so it probably wont make too much difference.

prob the best thing you can do is focus on the anchor text e.g. for an affiliate link on your blog, try using something like "learn more about this..." as your anchor text

HTH
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eblro01
Posts: 13
Joined: 18 Nov 08
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Thanks Jason - I appreciate your help.

I read a lot about links being hijacked - I don't know how big a problem this really is, but some of the "gurus" seem to think that cloaking is the way to stop this? Some of them sell tools to do this - maybe that's why they think they are a good idea :-)

Any suggestions on the WP plugin that will do this?

Thanks again,

Bob
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kjhosein
Posts: 44
Joined: 30 Nov 08
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Hi Bob,

I agree with Jason - don't use TinyURL. If their site goes down, then your links won't work.

Here's a Wordpress plugin that I've had some success with:
"http://www.harleyquine.com/php-scripts/short-url-plugin/"

I modified it slightly, so it could live in its own dir. You can snag it from here:
http://felthos.com/downloads/shorturl.tar.gz

Alternatively, you can find other plugins at the WP Codex. Do some other searches as well.
http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/search.php?q=short
and at
http://www.wp-plugins.net/

HTH. Cheers!

_KJH
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eblro01
Posts: 13
Joined: 18 Nov 08
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Thanks, I really appreciate your taking the time to reply.
I'll check out your links.
Best Regards,
Bob
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Site Admin
aletta
Posts: 3719
Joined: 09 Jul 06
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So many people get so worried about link hijacking, but the reality is that the only people who are going to be "hijacking" your commissions are fellow affiliates: They will notice that a link is an affiliate link, and they might be inclined to think "ooh, that's interesting, I can create an affiliate link myself and buy through my OWN link!"

To me, it seems like this is only going to be a problem if you're promoting products to people who know about affiliate marketing. The average person interested in a dog training product, or a learn spanish product, or a weight loss product... they're not going to know about affiliate marketing, and they're not going to know how to "hijack" your link. The thought won't even cross their minds.

The people who are most likely to "hijack" are people looking at products in the "make money online" niche: They're the ones who know about it, and if they're going to do it they're going to do it. They'll know what you're up to, link cloaker or no link cloaker. This is one reason why a lot of affiliates in this niche will offer "bonus" products for people who purchase through their links: To encourage people not to buy through their own links!

So that's a lengthy discussion on why you shouldn't be paranoid about this: Now for the practical part.

Use redirects.

A simple redirect will do pretty much the same trick as a TinyURL address: You send people to your redirect, which might live at yourdomain.com/recommends/thisproduct and then that will automatically redirect to your affiliate link, which will send people to the merchant site.

The only way your visitor will know they've been through an affiliate link is if the merchant is a little lazy with how they create their affiliate links: There might be a little tell-tale reference at the end of the URL in the address bar. But there's no way you can fix that yourself.

We have a lesson on this in Affilorama. http://www.affilorama.com/site-building ... -redirects
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PremiumMember
captain
Posts: 38
Joined: 06 Apr 08
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Persoanally I would stay away from TinyURL for the reasons mentioned above, but most importantly people want to see what they are clicking on, if I see a tiny url and dont know what the actualy link is, i dont click on it unless its from a well trusted person I know.

TinyURL's have had their days and worked very well int he past, som still get good use out of it, but for the newbie I would stay clear and use redirects instead for long url's, or buy a domain name and have it forward to the long destiantion url you want. For thos of you using WP there are pluins that you can get to create redirect within WP.

As for tracking, sure its nice to see what is beeing clicked on, but its not critical, just make sure you spend more time on generating traffic than tracking links.

Just my two cents :-)

Morgan
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eblro01
Posts: 13
Joined: 18 Nov 08
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Thanks to all that replied to my question. I see that ClickBank is now generating an encrypted HopLink, so at least for ClickBank, does that mean that this is no longer something we need to be concerned about?

This Forum is excellent - one of the best.

Thanks again,
Bob
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This topic was started on Mar 23, 2009 and has been closed due to inactivity. If you want to discuss this topic further, please create a new forum topic.