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Affiliates Forum

This 33 message thread spans 2 pages: 33 ( [1] 2 > >     
How do you hide affliate links?
Coding affiliate links

 1:00 am on Jan 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've been noticing more affiliate sites doing this. The link doesn't appear in the browser bar. I forget what this bar is called but it's the one on top of the start button.
How is it done and will it interfere with the link itself? Thanks.



 11:02 am on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

<a onMouseOver='window.status="http://www.someurl.com/";
return true' onMouseOut='window.status="Done";
return true'

And it would be better combining this whith a scrolling text in the status bar. It disables more or less showing the affiliate code with a right click on the mouse.

Here is the scrolling text script:

<Script LANGUAGE="JavaScript">
<!-- Hide this from older browsers

var Count = 0;
var Text = "This is the line that you edit.";
var Speed = 90;
var timerID = null;
var TimerRunning = false;

var i = 0;
while (i ++ < 140)
Text = " " + Text;

function Scroll(){
window.status = Text.substring(Count++, Text.length);
if (Count == Text.length)
Count = 0;
timerID = setTimeout("Scroll()", Speed);
TimerRunning = true;

function Start(){

function Stop(){
TimerRunning = false;


// end hide -->


 11:11 am on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Personally, I will tend to leave a site that does not let me know where I am going when I click on one of their links. Automatically I check what the url is in the status bar to see whether i am being sent off-site, and if its not there, I dont click.

That said, I would be far mroe trusting if the site in it's surrounding text around the link, let me know i was going somehwere else, or somwhere else where i will be asked to buy something.

Why the obfuscation? An is it really worth it?

It may work for sites that dont rely on repeat visitors, and for certain groups of people, but Im not sure its helpful for your site's navigation in either case.


 11:22 am on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I would tend to agree with chiyo here, if "I" don't know where I am going I don't click (I refer to the status regularly... however, I doubt neither of us are your target market.

It may be wise to survey this, anything that is a browser attribute really does belong to the person using the browser.


 11:23 am on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Started to experiment with a redirect script last week. Have to see if it has any influence on clickthrough rate and sales.

>is it really worth it? <
It is nice to get some better click statistics.
The site in question doesn't generate that much traffic so it is easy to manually backtrack from the clicktrough to the entry page (w. full referer information like search phrase).
Anyway, if sales drop because of this change, it is easy for me to change back to full affiliate link.


 11:58 am on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm agree with you chiyo.
But I also understand spikedo55. A lot of visitors just copy and paste the url without the affiliate ID in the address bar. This way you loose a referral. It's obvious you try to avoid this using some tricks.

Personally a prefer the following:

Make a seperate page for each affiliate. Link to that page which you redirect to your affiliate url. Or better, manage a permanent redirect of that page via your control panel of your host.
This way your visitor will access the site via the url of your choice, leaving some information which giving you your referral.


 3:44 pm on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

People are a little egoistic and don't want others earn some money on their effort. So they cick the affiliate ID and go straight to the main page. It happens more than you think.
I point such a link to a page like "webmaster.htm" and redirect it to the site with the affiliate ID.
No matter my visitors doing after that, I have my referral information registered.


 4:35 am on Jan 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

I normally dont worry about hiding affiliate links...if a visitor is watching the status bar when he cliks a aff link , he will be most likely a lurker and most likely will not buy anything :)


 5:13 am on Jan 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

I used to hide affiliate URLs until I measured the loading speed of some test pages with and without those codes. I decided that hiding the URLs did not offer enough benefits to be worth burdening my pages with the extra code clutter.


 5:55 am on Jan 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm with Gopi. If someone is so anal as to go to the trouble to cut off the affiliate code and paste the url, they're most definitely not a motivated buyer in the first place.

Gimme a visitor who knows what she/he wants, has credit card in hand and is ready to buy. Now there's a person who could care less about whether there's an affiliate involved. The timid are lousy prospects.

And, Buckworks, you're absolutely right. Strip that page down! Use CSS. Bare bones works best.


 1:12 am on Jan 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

I doubt that most of the non-webmaster type people I know even understand what an affiliate link is, and I just can't see them bothering stripping down the link even if they did.


 4:13 am on Jan 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Exactly Jane , even most of my high paid hitech friends who work in cutting edge internet tecnologies dont understand or care about afiliate marketing...i dont think an average joe surfer know what is AM or worse know about tracking url's :)

Afflilate link masking will only increase page size/loading time....not worth it

It may be a matter if you are selling stuff to other webmasters ( like marketing ebooks or in multi tier aff programs)


 6:00 am on Jan 22, 2003 (gmt 0)
i just wrote a simple script in php and used mod_rewrite for processing which was an automated link converter. all request to:


were redirected to *.

then suddenly google listed the foreign pages under!that! url. i think this might be interesting for am stuff, too, having your affiliates listed on google. rofl. ;)


 10:24 am on Jan 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>Afflilate link masking will only increase page size/loading time....not worth it

Not with a redirect as I do. With the extra benefit of having your affiliate links listed in the search engines.

>>It may be a matter if you are selling stuff to other webmasters ( like marketing ebooks or in multi tier aff programs)

Agree with that. I use the trick only for that purpose.

Shawn Collins

 2:01 pm on Jan 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I generally use .htaccess redirects to hide the links. Aside from chance that users may edit out the affiliate portion of a link, there's also bias from human search engines.


 5:55 pm on Jan 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

>.htaccess redirects

Will those pass pr on to the landing page?

Shawn Collins

 6:22 pm on Jan 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>.htaccess redirects
>Will those pass pr on to the landing page?

I'm not sure if the redirects pass pr, but doing this could increase the probability of getting listed on DMOZ, and therefore improving pr.


 7:29 pm on Jan 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

There is another reason for hiding your affiliate ID with a redirect other then shoppers deleting it from the location (address) bar.

From what I've read on this subject; Adware (scumware) pop-up/pop-under ads can (if installed on the shoppers computer) show itself on certain keywords and remove your affiliate id (cookie) and replace it with theirs, thereby cheating you out of a commission. I've read up to 60% of commissions can be lost. I don't know how accurate that number is but I believe you can lose a lot more from Adware then from the odd shopper deleting the affiliate id from the location bar.


I'm brand new to WebmasterWorld and I have to say I am very impressed with the information and advice offered. Thanks :)

Shawn Collins

 7:35 pm on Jan 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ellen -

I'm not sure that the redirect effectively thwarts adware, as least the way I do it (.htaccess redirects) ultimately goes through the affiliate link, so I would think the adware could detect it at that point.



 7:54 pm on Jan 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've started using a cgi script & database to handle my redirects. It was a bit of work to get it started but now my links open in a new frameset (my site in a narrow top frame with an option to break free from frames) and the affiliate site in the main frame. The location bar now shows something like www.mysite.com/connect.cgi?id=12345. I've seen a drastic reduction of adware popping up.


Shawn Collins

 8:30 pm on Jan 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ellen -

Do you think a basic frame would be effective as well?



 12:16 am on Jan 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hiding affiliate links make no sense to me. I want to see that code when I check my links to see they are working. I, too, doubt the average surfer has any idea what to look for, and could care less.


 9:28 am on Jan 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

I know of at least two affilate programs that allows you to use their regular web address (www.domain.com) without any affiliate code. Instead they trace the URL where the visitor is coming from, giving the affiliate credit when credit is due.

One of these vendors told me that there found a significant rise in click thorughs when affiliates use the "clean" URL. It could be that some surfers find recommendations with "clean" URLs to be more objective or "serious" than the ones with affiliate codes.


 9:30 am on Jan 29, 2003 (gmt 0)
Just a few days ago I was trying to find a same solution for the problem. If you use a OnMouseOver and OnMouseOut, it work partially, because still when someone might click with his right mouse on the link, your affiliate links is visible.

So what then?

You might want to try php.

You need to create a page order.php and paste the following code in it:

<!-- Begin Code -->

$location = 'http://www.affiliatesite1.com/?affiliateid=xxxx';
$location = 'http://www.affiliatesite2.com/?affiliateid=xxxx';
echo 'Error: No ID Specified';
header('Location: ' . $location);

<!-- End Code -->

Then pass the id supplied above to the affiliate links:



Hope this helps,



 12:03 am on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)
Or if you donīt want to have much trouble, use a software like this one:
Itīs free...

 2:04 am on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

with PHP pulls, you can mask anything. You can make an offsite page look insite and much more, it is possible to make it quite seamless. Also there are iframes now...


 9:17 am on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> doing this could increase the probability of getting listed on DMOZ, and therefore improving pr.

If the problem is hiding an affiliate link or two to avoid losing the referral, and whereas I agree with others that in most cases it isn't worth the trouble, there's no problems at all in getting a listing in DMOZ for sites with unique, relevant content.

If hiding affiliate links is used a the only possible trick to get a DMOZ listing for sites who are made of only, or mainly, affiliate links, or are just lead generators for the merchant sites they link to, this might increase the probability of getting listed by an inexperienced editor first time, and maybe stay there for some time, but can get you banned eventually when discovered (a quick navigation in the target site/s may often reveal the real purpose of the link/s).

Todd Crawford CJ

 11:57 pm on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)
Hi Everybody,

If you are a member of Commission Junction, you can select "hide tracking code" when getting links and it automatically appends the 'on mouseover' to show the main URL for the advertiser's site instead of the tracking server.


www.towerrecords.com instead of http://qksrv.net/click-34553-34535 (this is not a real link)

I hope this helps,



 12:23 am on Jan 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

Todd - Welcome to WebmasterWorld. Hang out with us here a little bit. You won't get flamed here like you've been on some other boards which will remain nameless.

There's a great deal you can contribute to aid serious webmasters operating as affiliates. And, I think you'll find that you and CJ will learn and benefit in the bargain.

Todd Crawford CJ

 2:46 am on Jan 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the welcome. I'll try to pop in and see what's being discussed from time to time. I am far from being a Webmaster and am in over my head here - but I am pretty good at getting answers internally or making up answers that sound right and usually are. ;)

FYI - I try to stay aaway from answering general customer support type questions and stick to observing (and learning) and commenting when necessary to shed insight or clarify things.


This 33 message thread spans 2 pages: 33 ( [1] 2 > >
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