How to Correctly Cloak your Affiliate Links – Featuring Matt Cutts
Link Cloaking Correctly
When going about link cloaking, there’s 2 separate ways: The right way, and the wrong way – we’ve seen numerous websites try and hide their dodgy little backlinks whilst selling them for a small fortune, but we’ve come up with the perfect solution, or should I say solutions?
If you’re looking to implement an affiliate link within your site that you don’t particularly want Google to see… Use a 307 temporary re-direct from your site. If you’re doing all this in a WordPress site, then you can get a plugin called “Pretty Link” – It’s an easy to manage tool for re-direct link management.
The second method comes from Yoast’s post on affiliate link cloaking and is pretty clever (Though a bit more technical).
Step 1: Create a folder in your directory called /out/ – This’ll serve as your redirects folder.
Step 2: Disallow your /out/ folder in your robots.txt file:
Step 3: Get a re-direct script and insert it into your /out/ folder
For the full Script on this, I suggest you visit the Yoast post – It’ll show you how to manually do it.
The Matt Cutts Cloaking Fiasco
EdgySEO (A very suitable name indeed) released a post yesterday, that shows Matt Cutts blog hiding links – Now, it’s not a particularly bad link he’s hiding, in actual fact it’s just the WordPress Login and a backlink to the Theme’s designer. That however, isn’t really the point, as a few people have been saying: “It’s Matt Cutts, he should be squeaky clean!” – I agree, if Google’s going to give a face to SEO, then why isn’t that face spotless?
However, what I found absolutely hilarious about this entire fiasco was this post by Matt Cutts himself, which directly attacks another website for using the exact same techniques he’s using on his own blog.
Just to confirm, according to Google guidelines, yes Mr Cutts (some will get the pun) is breaking Google Guidelines.