Tuesday, September 20, 2005

How To STOP Affiliate Link "Hijackers"

By Jim Edwards

(c)2002 Jim Edwards - all right reserved


Let's face the facts!

Almost everyone online today is looking to make or save a
buck any way they can. In the past, most of the people who
clicked on your affiliate links used to purchase without a
second thought... but, as times get tougher online, it seems
a growing number won't!

As money gets tighter and product prices rise, people who
know how to manipulate the system will sometimes replace
your affiliate ID with theirs and "hijack" your commissions.

Here's an example:

Let's say your affiliate link is

Say the highjacker uses the affiliate ID of captain-hook.
What he would do is replace your ID with his, and buy from
the URL www.ebookaboutcats.com/?captain-hook.

The bottom line: the hijacker puts your money in his pocket.

In other cases, they can't stand the thought of you "making
money off them" so they bypass you by simply chopping off
the end of your affiliate link that contains your ID.

Instead of buying from www.ebookaboutcats.com/?live-well,
the bypasser will simply "chop off" the affiliate ID at the
end and simply buy from the plain URL www.ebookaboutcats.com
--without your affiliate ID attached!

Either way, you get cheated out of your rightful commission.

To help you fight these affiliate link hijackers I offer a
couple of my best (proven and battle tested) tips, which
will at least confuse these "hijackers" and, in many cases,
often defeat and disarm them completely.

Side Note: If someone really, really wants to steal your
affiliate commission, they will find a way; however, most
hijackers are just opportunists who will only act if they
see an easy buck.

The first and cheapest way to hide your affiliate links is
using a javascript redirect page. This is where you hide
your affiliate link in a page on your site using a simple
javascript that redirects people to your affiliate link.

It works great not to expose your "naked" affiliate link in
your actual email messages and ezine ads, but, once people
get redirected to the true affiliate link, many affiliate
programs expose the affiliate link along with your ID in the
browser address bar.

Here's an example of a redirect script in action.
Click => http://www.ebookfire.com/esejs.html

Notice how the link takes you to a page where you can see my
affiliate ID, ebookfire, in your web browser's address bar.

Like it or not, someone can replace my ID with theirs and
"hijack" the commission... but at least the redirect script
keeps them from immediately seeing my "naked" affiliate link
(http://hop.clickbank.net/?ebookfire/ebksecrets) when I
publish it in my newsletter, email, or on my website.

You can get free redirect scripts just about anywhere you
find free javascripts. Here is the script I use

A better way to hide your affiliate links is using a zero-
frame or "invisible" frame that masks the affiliate link by
making it appear you are sending people to a page on your
website. In reality, you are actually sending them to your
affiliate link.

This is the technique used by those "sub-domain" redirect
services that provide you with urls like

While giving someone a link like that is much better than
using a "naked" affiliate link such as
http://hop.clickbank.net/?ebookfire/ebksecrets, there is a
problem. As soon as someone does a "view >> source" in their
web browser they'll see your naked affiliate link plain as
day... which instantly blows your cover!

Currently the best way to protect your affiliate commissions
from ruthless hijackers is to use a combination of a zero-
frame page along with URL encryption. This involves sending
someone to URL that looks like a page on your site, but
actually pulls in your affiliate link like those "sub-
domain" services. However, there's one critical

If someone does a "view >> source" in their browser, you
have added protection in that all they will see is a jumble
of computer code (http:) instead of
your naked affiliate link.

Check out this example of a zero-frame with URL encryption
in action.
Click => http://www.ebookfire.com/ese.html

Side Note: Beware of cloaking scripts that use javascript
because they could malfunction in some web browsers.

Here's the bottom line: if you are going to sell through
other people's affiliate programs, never send a "naked"
affiliate link... you're just asking for people to hijack or
bypass you if you do.

Though nobody has a 100% perfect solution to this problem,
if you want to get paid more often through your affiliate
links, make sure it's not obvious you're referring people to
an affiliate link. If they can't easily see how to hijack or
bypass your link, a lot more people who would have taken the
money out of your pocket just go ahead and buy through your
link - which is, after all, the whole point! :-)

Jim Edwards is the author of numerous best-selling ebooks
and earns thousands every month in affiliate commissions.
Jim is the developer of "Affiliate Link Cloaker," the web's
easiest, fastest, and safest way for even "non-techies" to
protect their affiliate links and STOP ruthless "hijackers".
Click Here


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