Wednesday, June 21, 2006

3 Ways To STOP Affiliate Link "Hijackers"

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

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, the bypasser will simply "chop off" the affiliate ID at the end and simply buy from the plain URL --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 =>

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 ( 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, 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 difference...

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 instead of your naked affiliate link.

Check out this example of a zero-frame with URL encryption in action. Click =>

Side Note: Beware of cloaking scripts that use javascript to mask your affiliate link 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.

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 will just go ahead and buy through your link - which is, after all, the whole point! :-)

Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist and the co-author of an amazing new ebook that will teach you how to use fr^e articles to quickly drive thousands of targeted visitors to your website or affiliate links...

Simple "Traffic Machine" brings Thousands of NEW visitors to your website for weeks, even months... without spending a dime on advertising! ==>


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