This is a quick how-to requested by two SEO Club members.
The problem? Affiliate links are normally ugly and easy to spot: http://productsite.com/affiliates/affiliatelink?youraffiliatenumber=324. This means that:
- Some websurfers are reluctant to click on affiliate links. They may be naturally suspect of someone linking to a product for money or they may just resent generating money for the writer they’re reading.
- If the affiliate link is obvious, its easy to hijack. If you remind me they have an affiliate program, I could easily go to productsite.com, sign up as an affiliate and take the commission when I purchase there.
- There is actually spyware out there that can automatically hijack links for some of the most popular affiliate programs.
The solution? Disguise affiliate links so that they look much more innocuous. Here are three ways to do that:
1) Affiliate Link Cloaker Plugin
- Download: http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/core-enhancements/site-links/1075/details
- Method: Install the plugin and place your link in betweeen [cloak][/cloak]
- Pros: Works well on both Joomla 1.0 and 1.5
- Cons: You need to enter all your links manually, for every page and every link.
2) iJoomla.com Redirect
- Download: http://www.ijoomla.com (actually a demonstration of #3 below)
- Method: Install Redirect. Take your affiliate link and enter it into the component. It will come out looking like this: index.php?option=com_ijoomla_redirect&id=1. Then you can use it enter it manually or use Simply Links to link every occurance of a word to your affiliate account. For example: iJoomla.
- Pros: Works well and provides good statistics on link clicks.
- Cons: Its $50. Also, its not really designed for this link cloakin, I just think affiliate work is a better use for it than trying to damn in all your Page Rank.
3) Joomla’s Default Weblink Component
- Download: Not needed
- Method: Go to Components >> Weblinks. Take your affiliate link and enter it into the component. The link will be in this form: domain / weblinks / category / link name, so it will come out looking something like this: http://alledia.com/weblinks/joomla/ijoomla.
Then you can use it enter it manually or use Simply Links to link every
occurance of a word to your affiliate account.
- Pros: Easy to use and you just need to install Simply Links if you want to use it site-wide.
- Cons: Stats aren’t quite as good as Redirect. To find out how often a link has been clicked, just check in Components >> Weblinks for the number of hits.