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Amazon Affiliates - Let's clear up the "No Link Cloaking" requirement

Discussion in 'Affiliate Programs' started by Evostance, Aug 14, 2015.

  1. Evostance

    Evostance Junior Member

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    There seems to be a lot of confusion around what defines a cloaked link with Amazon Affiliates, so after a long chat with Alex S at Amazon, I've finally cleared this up.

    In short: If you're redirecting a user from your website, via a link through your website then that is NOT link cloaking

    Some examples:

    Example #1: My own domain

    Lets say I own www.bestblenders.com, and I write a product review on "The Ninja Blender". My published review would then appear at www.bestblenders.com/reviews/the-ninja-blender.

    To manage my affiliate links, I am using a plugin like PrettyLinks or ThirstyAffiliates. What this does as it takes the huge Amazon link:
    Code:
    http://www.amazon.com/Ninja-QB900B-Master-Prep/dp/B003XU3C7M/ref=sr_1_2?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1439562217&sr=1-2&keywords=blender
    and gives me a nice simple link I can manage. For this example, the link it generates is www.bestblenders.com/product/ninja

    Within my Ninja Blender article, I link them to www.bestblenders.com/product/ninja which then redirects them to the big Amazon link.

    This is OK, and is not classed as link cloaking

    Example #2: My own domain and external traffic

    For this example, I own the domain and content from example #1, however it just so happens I also own the domain www.thebesttravelblenders.com. On this website I have a review of the same blender, but I don't want to bother with creating a new affiliate link on this website. Instead, I will just sent the user to www.bestblenders.com/product/ninja

    This NOT OK, and is classed a link cloaking. This is because the user expects to go to www.bestblenders.com and instead ends up at Amazon

    Example #3: The grey area

    So this one is a bit dodgy in my eyes, and Amazon don't seem to be too clear on it:

    You are allowed to use link shorteners

    OK, so you can use a link shortener like bit.ly or goo.gl because "every" knows those as link shorteners. This is where it gets a bit grey, as my argument to them was that a user has no idea where the link goes, they wouldn't know if it is going to take the user to a genuine website, an affiliate website, an affiliate website who then redirects them to Amazon, or straight to Amazon. To put it bluntly, there isn't really a policy here.

    My advice would be to stay away from link shorteners full stop. If you're not posting the link on your own website, then just link directly to Amazon. If you end up getting banned because of this, then you're going to have a hard time arguing this with Amazon as their policy is about as clear as mud in this area


    Hopefully this helps some of you. Feel free to contribute any of your findings
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 4
  2. giangdg

    giangdg Regular Member

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    Thanks for that.
    Do you ask him about anchor texts?
    Do we need to include the text "Amazon" inside the anchor text, or we can use any anchor text?
     
  3. wpbacklinks

    wpbacklinks Elite Member

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    This is a very useful information. thanks Evostance for clearing this up & answering my question.
     
  4. nasyrov

    nasyrov Registered Member

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    Quick solution bellow.

    HTML
    Code:
    <span class="js-link" data-href="your-amazon-url" data-target="_blank">your call to action text</span>
    
    JS
    Code:
    $('.js-link').replaceWith(function () {
        var $this = $(this);
        return $('<a/>', {
            'class': $this.attr('class'),
            href: $this.data('href'),
            target: $this.data('target'),
            title: $this.data('title'),
            html: $this.html()
        });
    });
    
     
  5. bartosimpsonio

    bartosimpsonio Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Do you own that blenders site?
     
  6. Evostance

    Evostance Junior Member

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    No sorry. If you ask them though, let us know!

    I didn't even look at it, i just plucked the first url that came to mind when thinking about Amazon. Didn't realise it was a website!
    Apologies if this is anyones!
     
  7. king0735

    king0735 Registered Member

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    nice info about amazon i want to get into the amazon affiliate program
     
  8. danno

    danno Junior Member

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    I've also spoken to someone at Amazon Associates live support and was told the same about redirects - it's okay to use Pretty Link etc. However I was told not to use link shorteners and that the only link shortener we're allowed to use is Amazon's own amzn.to links. Like the op I wouldn't chance it as they terminate affiliate accounts for the smallest of infractions.

    @giangdg I've asked about anchor texts as well and you don't have to use the word 'Amazon'. You still have to be careful what you say though. For instance you couldn't say 'Click here to find the best price on Amazon' because even if you can't find a better price elsewhere, the word 'best' still can't be used as its not really a verifiable statement.
     
  9. sugarbedi

    sugarbedi Newbie

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    I got banned because I spammed amazon affiliate short link on twitter.

    Screenshot (5).jpg