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I am creating a website, and I advertise Adsense and clickbank affiliate programs. For the affiliate programs, all I do is simply use the text and my affiliate link. Although, instead of having the text link to my affiliate program (http://#*$!x.vendor.hop.clickbank.net) I have it link to a php file (http://www.mysite.com/link/xxxx.php). The php file contains:
Is this a good idea or sohuld I just link directly to the site?
If the link works properly, i.e. points to the right page of merchant's site and tracking works as well, then it should be fine. You can check html-source of the page with the link loaded after php job is done. If the link has been generated according to merchant requirements, it means everything is Ok.