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Lincoln 23rd September 2007 09:21 PM

Cloaking Affiliate Links: 301 Or 302 Redirects?
Hi all,

I'm currently using PHP redirect files to cloak my affiliate links. I'm doing this for a variety of reasons, including preventing affiliate links from being hijacked, and also so if affiliate links ever change for whatever reason, I only need to change one file. :D

But now I've been reading that Google may penalize your site if you have too many PHP 302 redirects. Since PHP defaults to 302, should I change it to 301 (permanent) instead to avoid this? I don't need to have these links indexed, but I don't want Google kicking my petoonies because it thinks I'm a spammer either. I made sure all the redirect files are in a specific folder which is disallowed by robots.txt, so would this be enough?

Man, there's always something. :argh:

pete 23rd September 2007 09:37 PM

Forget redirects and htaccess. They sort of do the trick, but still show the eventual address, with the affiliate code often showing at the end.

Here is a solution that shows your site address, even when the prospect is on the ClickBank or whatever page. All they ever see is your address and you can set up your links as Or you can put each coded page in a subdirectory and have a link like

Here's a (not affiliate) link

Lincoln 24th September 2007 10:29 AM

So far all of my affiliate programs do not show the affiliate links when clicking through my site to theirs, so I'm safe there. :D If I ever start using ClickBank or affiliates that don't hide links, then I may have to give MasterMasker a look. For now I'm concerned about how Google might perceive these cloaked links.

pete 24th September 2007 11:15 AM

Whatever Google does today might change tomorrow. The major consideration with Google is whether you are using a standard sales page provided by your soruce. If so, it's going to look at duplicae content and forget the listing.

At this time, Google works well with 301 "permanent" redirects. I have never seen anything regarding a limit on how many you may have.

You could set them up in subdirectories, so there would only be one to each sub, if you are concerned.

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