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When the users hover the cursor over the affiliate link, i would like it if they aren't able to see that i am an affiliate and instead shows them the merchant's web url.
I use this technique to add a comment (in parenthesis) after a URL but not to obscure the URL itself. Google is also using this with AdLinks.
To do this insert this in the web page:
<a onMouseOver="window.status='http://fakeurl.com'; return true" onMouseOut="window.status='Done';" href="http://realurl.com"> Link </a>
It's important to place onMouseOut function as users will be curious when the find the 'destination' url stays there.
Other users will have different browsers [ other than Internet Explorer ] which may not say Done when a page has loaded but 89% of users do. Because of this 11% of your users may begin to get suspicious. The message is it's not full-proof.
RewriteRule <url> /<dir><filename.html>
This will subsitute whatever you put in the <url> for the url and file name directly to the right of it. The user will only see what you want them to see. It can also be use for redirects......
You will need to be running apache mod whether it be windows server or Linux. Hopfully you'll be on a linux box......