Link Cloaker Compatibility

Affilimate is compatible with popular link cloakers like Thirsty Affiliates and Pretty Links.

If you want to use our Smart Label solution, which automatically adapts your affiliate links so you can know exactly which page and link your commission came from, you'll need to enable the following options.

This means you can re-use cloaked links on many pages, but still know which page converted, using Affilimate's Smart Labels.

Note: If you are not using an existing solution, we recommend Thirsty Affiliates for link cloaking. This is because it has a simple, global setting for forwarding tracking labels to your links.

In this article:

Set up Thirsty Affiliates

Option 1: Enable "Query String Passing" globally

In general, there's almost no reason not to enable this for your links globally. All it does is combine whatever parameters you have when you create a link in a post to your cloaked link with the query.

To do that, check this box in your Thirsty Affiliates settings:

Tip: If you are using Thirsty Affiliates Pro Google Analytics integration, you'll need to additionally add a Filter for Affilimate in Google Analytics. This helps us both give you revenue attribution data without affecting your existing analytics.

Option 2: Go into every link and choose "query string passing" for individual links

While we don't necessarily recommend this option, it is possible to do. You should use this option if you have a specific reason why you wouldn't want those parameters to get appended.

Step 1. In each link, enable "Parameter Forwarding"

Similarly, Pretty Links has a per-link setting that does the exact same thing. It's called "parameter forwarding".

Open your Pretty Links settings for a specific link, and enable Parameter Forwarding.

Note: You only need to do this for links where the cloaked link sends users to an affiliate network or program that supports Smart Label attribution. Find a list of supported networks and programs in our Integrations List.

Step 2. If using Google Analytics integration, add a GA Filter

If you are using the paid version of Pretty Links, and you currently have "Enable Google Analytics" checked:

Then, you will want to follow our mini-guide to Filter Affilimate from Google Analytics.

Lasso

As of a recent update, Lasso now supports query parameter pass-through. You do not need to change any settings in order to enable this feature.

Custom Link Cloaking and Redirects

If you've got a custom script or redirection method for your affiliate links, you'll want to make sure to add support for query parameter pass-through yourself.

You'll also probably need to contact our Support team in case our sitemap scan can't pick up your affiliate links. This usually happens if you have a non-standard redirect method, such as client-side redirects using window.location.

Luckily, compatibility pretty easy to set up, but it does require a little custom code, sometimes from both sides.

Here are the main scenarios you'll need to handle:

Scenario 1: Pass-through external parameters to the cloaked link

In short, you'll want to pass-through any query parameters Affilimate adds to your cloaked link down to the underlying affiliate link.

You'll need to correctly append the query parameter at the end, and be aware of any encoding considerations depending on the format of the link itself.

For example, let's assume your custom cloaked affiliate link looks something like this:

https://yourwebsite.com/redirect/to-an-affiliate-link

And that this cloaks an affiliate link which supports Smart Labels, for example an Impact link:

https://123.733r.net/abc123

Affilimate will append the correctly formatted query parameter to your cloaked link on the landing page itself.

At that point, it's your link cloakers responsibility to forward that to the underlying link before redirecting the user.

For example, we'll modify your cloaked link into, e.g.:

https://yourwebsite.com/redirect/to-an-affiliate-link?subId3=your-page-slug_amcid-02khsbfds983bf8

You then need to take that extra parameter (subId3) and its value (your-page-slug_amcid-02khsbfds983bf8), and pass it through to the link you redirect the user to:

https://123.733r.net/abc123?subId3=your-page-slug_amcid-02khsbfds983bf8

The SubId name and value is different for every network, so be sure not to hardcode them. Contact Support if you prefer to whitelist specific query parameter names, and we'll provide you with a current list.

In short: Take any extra query parameters that we add to your on-page affiliate links, and append them to your affiliate link before sending the user along. This behavior applies to all affiliate links where we support dynamic SubIDs ("Smart Labels") with one exception.

Scenario 2: Handle Partnerize links (if necessary)

Partnerize appends SubIDs as part of the path of the link, instead of a query parameter.

In this scenario, Affilimate will append the query parameter called pubref to your cloaked link. From there, you'll need to modify the underlying link to contain this pubref as part of the path.

For example, Affilimate will add a query parameter like this:

https://yourwebsite.com/redirect/to-a-partnerize-link?pubref=your-page-slug_amcid-02khsbfds983bf8

And you'll need to modify the Partnerize link you redirect the user to so it includes, e.g.  /pubref:your-page-slug_amcid-02khsbfds983bf8/ right after the camref in the URL. So for example, turning this:

https://prf.hn/camref:ABC123/adref:DEF456/

Into this:

https://prf.hn/camref:ABC123/pubref:your-page-slug_amcid-02khsbfds983bf8/adref:DEF456/

Based on whatever value is being sent as the pubref parameter.

Scenario 3: Client-side redirects and custom cloaking scripts

If your redirects from your cloaked links to the affiliate link do not use a standard 3XX response code, please contact Support so we can work together on detection of your custom cloaked links or script.

This includes any redirects that are triggered by JavaScript, including e.g. window.location assignments.

Please note that Affilimate currently does not crawl and detect affiliate links which are rendered dynamically by JavaScript on the page, such as Skimlinks and Sovrn.

For both of these networks, we recommend generating the links by hand for better control and tracking.

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Have questions? Contact us at support@affilimate.com anytime.

Last Updated 10/6/2021

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