6 Best Affiliate Link Cloaking Plugins for WordPress Sites to Use

Do you click on a link which look like this?


You’ll NEVER know where you’ll end up once you click on that link. But what if you could make that link look like example.com/go/iphone8

That’s so easy to recognise that you’ll be visiting a particular product page, right? Are you curious to know how to turn ugly looking links into short and prettier links?

We all know that affiliate marketing is the process of selling others products to your blog audience and making commission whenever you make a successful sale.

Whether you know it or not, successful affiliate marketing involves A LOT of complex factors such as SEO, link building, proper content strategy, high quality email list and so on. One among them is affiliate link cloaking. In this detailed article, we are going to discuss just about that.

What is Affiliate Link Cloaking?

Affiliate link cloaking is the practice of turning longer and vague URLs into shorter and better optimized URLs. It helps search crawlers and your website users to better understand what your links are all about.

Let’s define it in simple terms by separating the phrase “affiliate link cloaking” into two words “affiliate links” + “cloaking”.

  • “Affiliate links” usually contain long and ugly URLs such as www.example.com/cgi-bin/affiliates/signup.pl?affiliate_id=asdjl;ksagqljehaha
  • “Cloaking” is where you turn long affiliate links into short and sweet links such as www.example.com/bluehost (now, that’s easy to read and understand, right?)

For instance, here’s how our Bluehost affiliate link looks like in live.

When you click on it, it will redirect you to the product page without affecting my affiliate commission).

See that? Affiliate link cloaking simply means making your affiliate links short, sweet and prettier so they don’t look ugly and long.

What are the benefits of link cloaking?

So what are the benefits of affiliate link cloaking? Here are some of the biggest reasons to cloak your affiliate links.

Can be easily used anywhere: Short and sweet links can be used anywhere including your blog posts, landing pages, social media posts, email newsletters and the list goes on. It’s so much easier to manage your affiliate links by cloaking.

Improve CTR: Whether you know it or not, long and ugly looking URLs don’t convert as they can even hurt your click through rates. As an affiliate marketer, you don’t want that. You can easily get higher CTR on your links by cloaking with simple and pretty optimized URLs.

Better conversions: Short affiliate links don’t look like spam. People don’t like to buy from links they don’t understand. Here’s where cloaking helps as it’s so much easier to add product names while cloaking for higher conversions.

SEO benefits: Search crawlers can easily fetch your affiliate links because they are not only short but they are also well optimized. Not just that, you can also prevent passing your site’s link juice to affiliate products you promote by adding nofollow links.

Tracking: By cloaking your affiliate links, you can track everything from how many people clicked on them to how many successful sales you have actually made. That’s a great way to increase your overall affiliate sales.

So how can you cloak your affiliate links?

There are so many ways to cloak your affiliate links. You can either do it manually by going to any link shortener sites such as Bit.ly, goo.gl, Ow.ly etc. Or you can use WordPress plugins.

You’re fortunate if you’re using WordPress as there are a ton of plugins which can help you easily cloak your links. In this article, let’s cover some of the best affiliate link cloaking plugins for WordPress sites.

Top 6 Affiliate Link Cloaking WordPress Plugins

Best wordpress plugins for affiliate link cloaking

Quick note: Before jumping into the post, we want you to know that the following list of plugins for link cloaking is in no particular order. So don’t make a judgement of the importance of a plugin by the list from top to down. Have a look at their features and give a try to any one of them.

1. Easy Affiliate Links

As the name suggests, Easy Affiliate Links plugin helps you easily cloak your affiliate links. You can also track all your links so you can easily figure out what links (with call to actions) are performing well on your website.

You can create short and pretty links to optionally cloak your affiliate links and it provides you the ability to export your affiliate or external links to XML for later easy access. This is also the same plugin that we’ve been using at BloggersPassion for a long time now.

easy affiliate links plugin

Features list:

  • It works well with both the editor (the older Classic Editor and new Gutenberg Block Editor)
  • The ability to leave specific links uncloaked for Amazon compatibility (in case if you’re promoting Amazon affiliate program related products within your site)
  • You can assign categories to your links if you want unique stuff
  • You can track monthly and lifetime clicks (that way you can know the overall affiliate link clicks to see their conversion rates)
  • You can import affiliate links from XML and CSV

2. URL Shortener Pro

Do you want to create short and easy to remember links so you can include them within your posts, landing pages, social media sites and so on? Then, give a try to URL Shortener Pro plugin.

This is a premium cloaking plugin from MyThemeShop which costs you $29 (you can use it on up to 3 sites) and it’s worth every single penny you pay for. With this plugin, you can also set up redirects including cloaked redirects, HTML meta redirects apart from adding redirects using 301, 302, 307 redirects.

Features list:

  • You can hide your affiliate links (mask them easily)
  • Extremely easy to use (just with a click of a button)
  • You can organise short links in categories
  • Open links in new tabs, add nofollow tags to your links easily

3. Auto Affiliate Links

Want to automatically add affiliate links into your blog posts? Then, you can give a try to this affiliate link cloaking plugin where you can add links automatically. If you want, you can also manually set affiliate links according to your keywords.

That means, whenever you use particular keywords within your content, this plugin automatically adds affiliate links.

Features list:

  • You can make your affiliate links nofollow or dofollow
  • You can open links in new page or the same page while cloaking links
  • The ability to add automatic links according to your keywords
  • You can also automatically extract and display links from top marketing platforms like Amazon, Clickbank, Shareasale, Ebay, Commission Junction, Envato Market and so on
  • You can add multiple keywords if you want to automatically cloak your links, separated by a comma. For instance: “iphone, apple smartphone, iphone discount”. If you add the same link 3 times with different keywords, the same link will appear for all the keywords you add

4. Affiliate Links Plugin from Envato Market

This is a paid cloaking plugin from Envato Market which helps you boost your SEO by hiding affiliate links from search engines like Google. It can also protect your affiliate earnings by masking your affiliate referral links (how cool is that?).

This premium WordPress plugin helps you easily mask any URL in order to create and shorten any links (including internal or external links).

Features list:

  • You can find and easily analyse your link traffic along with stats
  • You can easily hide your affiliate links from search engines
  • The ability to mask referral links
  • You can track each and every link click on your website as an event in Google Analytics

5. Shortlinks by Pretty Links

Shortlinks by Pretty Links is another popular cloaking and link tracking plugin which shortens links using your own domain name. It also helps you track each and every click on your URL so you can easily discover where your clicks came from.

Features list:

  • Redirect to any other URL (allows for 301, 302, and 307 redirects)
  • Tracks the total clicks per link
  • Tracks the total unique clicks per link
  • Also provides a report interface where you can discover all your links stats
  • Cookie based system for tracking visitor activity across clicks
  • You can create nofollow or noindex links

6. ThirstyAffiliates Affiliate Link Manager

This is one of the widely used affiliate link cloaking plugins in the WordPress community. Using this plugin, you can NOT only cloak your links but you can also choose from 301 , 302 or 307 redirects.

These redirects often protect your affiliate links from being plagiarised and replaced by malware on your website visitor’s browser.

thirsty affiliates

Features list:

  • It comes equipped with inbuilt affiliate link shortening/link cloaking which looks something like (www.yourwebsite.com/recommends/your-affiliate-link)
  • It has commission protecting affiliate link 301 redirection (default)
  • Customizable link URL prefixes – loads to choose from or use your own custom prefix
  • Hierarchical link categorization to easily segment links
  • Handy affiliate link picker tool (with full instant search capabilities) makes it easy to insert affiliate links in posts, pages and comments!
  • This plugin also has dofollow and/or nofollow options (global or per link)
  • You can open your affiliate links in new window

5 Things to Remember While Cloaking Your Affiliate Links

Cloaking your links is so much easier when you’ve access to the plugins mentioned above. But you should also remember a few most important things while cloaking links if you want to achieve the best results from affiliate marketing and here are some of them.

1. Add nofollow to your affiliate links

There’s no need to “pass your website’s link juice” to affiliate product websites. By adding nofollow tags to your affiliate links, you’re not leaking any link juice which can be helpful for your overall site’s SEO in the long run.

You can easily make your affiliate links nofollow using many of the plugins that are listed above. You should definitely consider adding nofollow links because there’s no point in passing your website’s link juice to unwanted product pages.

2. Use an affiliate disclosure when using affiliate links

Don’t manipulate your website users. The best way to build trust while promoting affiliate products is to add an affiliate disclosure. By telling your website audience that you’re using affiliate links to make money, you can easily gain their trust.

3. Be strategic while adding anchor text

Don’t use vague and boring anchor texts in your affiliate links (such as “click here”, “buy now”, “read more” etc) as they are NOT going to help you in anyway. Think smart and add relevant anchor texts (don’t use the same anchor texts again and again) while adding affiliate links so you can boost your overall SEO even for your affiliate links.

4. Perform A/B testing regularly

The key to increase your affiliate sales is to split test (A/B test) everything. You should be able to discover ads, affiliate links, landing pages, call to actions and so on that are providing you the best results.

You should also have a blog sales funnel in place. That way, you can easily find out the conversion funnel that your website users are following before they purchase something from your site (or using your affiliate referral links).

5. Track your affiliate links

Link cloaking plugins and tools usually help you easily track your affiliate links so you can find out their performance (what links are performing well and what are not performing at all). Tracking your links can give you a ton of useful insights so you can do more of what’s working well for your website.

You should track all your promotions and affiliate links in one place and if possible try to mask your affiliate codes. That way, you can easily prevent someone else from changing your affiliate referral or promo code with another in the redirect process.

FAQs About Link Cloaking

Curious to know more about link cloaking? Here are some of the widely asked questions around it so you can know more details.

Can affiliate links affect my website’s SEO?

It depends. As long as you don’t negatively impact user experience and don’t violate Google’s rules, then affiliate links are fine. Just don’t clutter your pages by adding too many affiliate links within a page. Also make sure to use nofollow tags while linking to your affiliate product pages so you can prevent leaking your site’s link authority.

Is it possible to track affiliate links in Google Analytics?

Yes, you can track your external links (including affiliate links) from your Google Analytics account to analyse your website’s user behaviour. We recommend you to install Google Analytics by MonsterInsights as it offers you affiliate link tracking where you can track your affiliate links and get all your clicks data and stats.

Can I cloak Amazon affiliate links?

No, you shouldn’t cloak your Amazon affiliate links. Amazon clearly mentioned in its terms that you can’t use a redirection of any sort while promoting Amazon product links. You’ll get banned if you cloak your affiliate links to Amazon affiliate products.

Do I have to disclose affiliate links?

Yes, disclosing affiliate links is a better practice.

More Affiliate Marketing related resources:

Final Thoughts

As discussed in the article, there are so many SEO benefits of affiliate link cloaking. If you are promoting affiliate products or trying to jump into affiliate marketing, you should definitely give it a try. Not only you can prevent your overall website’s link juice to affiliate sites by using link cloaker plugins but you can also easily manage your affiliate links by shortening them.

Almost every affiliate marketer uses link cloaking to easily manage their links and avail best SEO benefits by using short links. So there’s nothing wrong in giving it a try if you are not cloaking your affiliate links yet.

Do you cloak your affiliate links or want to give a try to it by using the plugins mentioned here? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

About Author
Anil Agarwal is the Founder of Bloggerspassion. He is a full-time blogger and SEO expert who has been helping people build profitable blogs for over a decade Now. He has been featured in Over 100 Publications including Forbes, The HuffPost, HubSpot, Shopify, Semrush, Kinsta, Bluehost, Hostinger and G2.com etc. Know more about Anil Agarwal from here.

Reader Comments (22)

  1. Hey sir,

    Just landed here from FB share and found some plugins here, I was unknown from.

    For me, I use Thirsty Affiliates on couples of blogs. I would like to try other on my new launched website soon.

    Hope to learn more from here…


  2. Amazing post as always. One question! can we use a cloaked redirect method (in pretty links) to promote affiliate products? Or just go with temporary or permanent redirect

    If need to promote it on some social media platforms..or the account can get banned because of that!!

    Pls help!


    • You should use 301 redirect type. You may not get banned for sharing your affiliate links. But most people will not click on direct affiliate links. You should try to send maximum traffic to your blog contents.

  3. Sir can you tell me which affiliate link cloaking plugins has the direct feature of google analytics tracking? having that affiliate to track which link are getting more clicks in the analytics dashboard is also handy.

    So can you tell?

  4. Hi Anil,

    You have introduced me to a completely new concept that is affiliate cloaking. I had no idea yet but your article has made it so clear what it is and how it helps. Also thanks for explaining the benefits of it. The plugins might turn to be useful for my wordpress website also.

    Thank You. Best Wishes.

  5. Hey sir,

    Just landed here from Facebook share and found some plugins here, I was unknown from.

    For me, I use Thirsty Affiliates on couples of blogs. I would like to try other on my new launched website soon.

    Hope to learn more from here… Thanks

  6. Very good list of Affiliate link Cloaking Plugins . I already started using Auto Affiliate Links. I have installed Auto Affiliate Links Lite plugin. It is very simple and much easier than any of.

  7. Hi Anil,

    The value of cloaking one’s affiliate links is beyond measure. Having a long and ugly link make it difficult to get visitors to click of walk them through the conversation funnel.
    But when you shorten your links it becomes more appealing and generate more clicks.
    Nonetheless, I have used a few of the plug-ins on your list, but more of them are new to me. So it’s a good thing I read this post.
    Thanks for sharing!

  8. Very helpful article. Today i watched you on Youtube channel Tryootech. Amazing interview. Thanks a lot for sharing such a kind information

  9. Very helpful article. Today i watched you on Youtube channel Tryootech. Amazing interview. Thanks a lot for sharing such a kind information.

  10. Hello Anil,

    Thanks for sharing this wonderfully written, informative article about affiliate link clocking, and the important affiliate link management plugin, i think they are worth trying!

    With Regards

  11. Hello Anil,

    Just landed here from iftiseo, I’m really amazed by this amazing collection of plugins. To be honest I rarely used few of them and will surely try all of them soon.


  12. Hello Anil,
    Glad to meet you here.. 🙂

    You have shared a beautiful and most important wordpress plugins which is really very important for blogging in modern era. After knowing, this is very useful I just couldn’t hold myself to tweet this on twitter, you know. I am very exciting to know about these top 10 wordpress plugins.

    Detailed information on every plugins are really great helpful and beneficial and therefore it will be easy to use all the startups blogger and they can know it easily. I was really unaware about many plugins here..

    Thanks for sharing such great resources for we all.. 🙂
    This post is really great appreciable..

    Have a great week ahead..
    – Ravi.

  13. Never thought of affiliate link cloaking that way. However, it does make sense to shorten affiliate links as you pointed out at the beginning of the post. I guess the next step is deciding which plugin to use. Taking note of all these strategies can be very overwhelming.

  14. Hi Anil,

    You always come with a great post and yes, it is good to cloak the affiliate links to stay authoritative in the eyes of our readers.

    I recently come to know this kind of cloaking plugins, I use “Pretty Link Lite” and it is awesome.

    Good to read the advantages of affiliate link cloaking, thanks for introducing some unknown plugins for it.

    Keep doing your work, have a great day ahead.


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