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What is cloaking: Affiliate Marketing

What is cloaking: Affiliate Marketing

Registration in the affiliate network:


  1. Cloaking in affiliate marketing
  2. Cloaking in SEO
  3. How cloaking works
  4. Cloaking with trackers for affiliates
  5. Platforms for creating cloaking
  6. Attitude of search engines to cloaking
  7. Attitude of advertising networks to cloaking
  8. Making cloaking for free

Advertising networks and search engines are inherently opposed to any kind of illegal promotion of offers. However, this does not stop people from making money from affiliate marketing, as it can often bring the most profit. To avoid detection, cloaking, a method of redirecting incoming traffic where some visitors are shown some pages of a website and others are shown others, is commonly used.

For example, when moderators of CPA networks or search engine robots click on a URL, they are directed to one page where all rules and regulations are followed, while other people may be directed to a page with aggressive material that ignores these rules but yields better results in terms of traffic conversion.

Cloaking is used to circumvent restrictions imposed by networks and advertising platforms on the content of advertisements, such as those related to dietary supplements. In complex areas, this can be a major headache, so webmasters turn to cloaking as a means of circumventing the complexities created by Direct or Facebook.

You should know right away that all reputable and decent ad networks prohibit cloaking. If the deception is uncovered even some time after cloaking has been applied, the ad network may deactivate your account. It follows that "gray" and "black" methods should be tested only on new accounts.

Cloaking in affiliate marketing

In affiliate marketing, cloaking can be very useful in three different cases: when there is a need to hide the content of a page from one group of users and show it to another:

You need to hide from the advertiser that the traffic directed to their offers is from sources they have forbidden;

You must take care to hide all profitable creatives and packages from the ad network or other affiliates (so that they are not taken away);

The page material should be sealed from means of espionage so that no one can determine who is using surveillance programs on a particular site;

Regardless of why you are using cloaking, you need to be as careful as possible when using it; otherwise, you can get banned. For example, if an advertiser discovers that you are redirecting traffic from a banned source, a CPA network may ban you permanently.

Cloaking in SEO

It is worth thinking about another direction in which cloaking is often used - search engine optimization. After all, it is with the development of search engines is largely associated with the relevance of such shady advertising tactics, such as cloaking.

At this stage, the traditional building of link mass was no longer as effective as before, and therefore increasingly began to use methods of "black hat" SEO. However, cloaking is not always considered "black hat" - in some cases, it can be considered "white hat" or "gray hat".

In other words, while black cloaking can completely replace page content and show the visitor something irrelevant, other types of cloaking can be used that are appropriate for SEO promotion of large, well-known companies.

Geotargeting is a way to show pages in different languages to users from different countries.

How cloaking works

To realize cloaking, it is necessary to create several copies of the same web page;

This first piece of content will meet the needs of search engines and will favor their algorithms;

The second one will present the words that people who come to the site should pay attention to.

In order for the server to determine which text it should display (i.e. identify the current viewer), it must apply special procedures that use two sets of information:

  • IP;
  • User-Agent.

Let's consider both cases separately.

IP address

The server must know the IP address of the search robot. It is not easy to get it, as it requires permission from the repository where this information is stored. Nevertheless, competitors in most cases - 99% - will not be able to decipher such a mystery.


In order to apply cloaking, you need to know the User-Agent name of the search engine. Matching these names with the names of ordinary visitors will allow you to show them different content on the same page. While it is fairly easy to obtain User-Agent data, sites using this cloaking method are also fairly easy to detect (which can cause competitors to use specialized software and then report it, eventually leading to the site being blocked (exaggerated)).

It is not uncommon to use a combined cloaking method that uses both User-Agent and IP address.

Cloaking using trackers for the affiliates

One of the easiest approaches to creating a passageway for marketing is to use tracking systems. These are unique sites that provide real-time data on the performance of various advertising networks. In addition, trackers allow you to direct traffic to desired destinations, advertised products, and even individual affiliates.

Webmasters who have been doing this for a long time usually use Keitaro, Binom, CPA tracker and AdsBridge trackers. To get a better understanding of how the trackers work and how to set up cloaking based on them, let's take a look at how Binom works. To create cloaking in Binom, you just need to specify links to Offer and White Page. In this case, the first page will be displayed to all visitors, and the second - only to moderators or competitors.

Step-by-step plan for creating a cloak in Binom:

  • Develop 2 web pages - for visitors and robots/moderators/competitors;
  • Create a new advertising campaign in Binom, open the advertising cabinet, find the White Page column in the section and specify the link to the desired page there;
  • Set up 2 streams, one of which redirects to the White Page and prescribes filters for those who will visit it.

Binom and other affiliate trackers have built-in systems that can automatically filter out such traffic. But even in this case, it is not unreasonable to apply additional settings. Find IP moderators on the Internet and immediately add them to the blacklist (so that the "White Page" is always displayed).

Each tracker has its own appearance and features. However, for the most part they are close in design, so if you have already used one of them, there will be no problems with finding the right commands and setting the necessary parameters.

Platforms for creating cloaks

Cloaking can be done using a variety of platforms. Generally, they use JavaScript - programs that are placed on the landing page. You can pay for these services or use them for free. It only takes a few clicks to create cloaking.

The paid ones have pros:

  • Gather the necessary databases themselves;
  • Can detect all suspicious IPs;
  • Automatically show White Page to the necessary visitors;
  • Are distinguished by the most flexible settings (for example, you can configure automatic redirection of the visitor to a gray page after the 5th click);
  • etc.

In general, these services can be compared to trackers, but they are able to independently collect databases and process them (manual input is practically not required). Popular sites of this kind include:

  • FraudFilter;
  • Just Cloak It;
  • Peerclick;
  • etc.

Search engines' attitude towards cloaking

Since cloaking is a shady way of promoting a web page, search engines react to it with strong disapproval. As a result, they categorize such sites as filled with low-quality content and consider it as clogging SERPs, which lowers the ranking of such sites.

Thus, if search engine algorithms detect that a site is replicating any material to boost its ranking, it will be penalized (banned, obstructed).

Yandex lowers the site's ranking in its search engine, causing it to move far away from the top spots. This is done to ensure that users receive high quality sites with relevant information when querying, which is also adhered to by other search engines, such as Google.

Webmasters often use deceptive tactics. More often than not, robots are presented with a page that looks completely different from what the user sees when searching for a given query. In other words, the search engine robot will see the keywords, but the user will be presented with spam and irrelevant information that has nothing to do with their query.

Ad networks' attitude towards cloaking

Using cloaking can lead to your account being blocked in an advertising network. As a rule, CPA networks have a negative attitude to such marketing methods and often close such accounts without the possibility of recovery. In addition, advertising networks are constantly working to improve their systems for detecting cloaking and suspending users who use fraudulent methods of promoting affiliate offers.

Making a cloak for free

Almost all services that offer cloaking and tracking technologies are paid. Creating a really working cloaking requires an expert programmer, but there is one way around this problem.

In fact, almost every modern service offers free use of its capabilities for a few days or even weeks. There are also completely free trackers with free plans. However, they have a significant disadvantage - limited features.

Cloaking technology is a cost-effective and common way of advertising stocks on the Internet, which in many ways facilitates the work of an affiliates. Nevertheless, it should be handled with care - use only reliable services and trackers.

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