First, let's talk about the word "cloaking" and what it means. Let's say you want to link to Amazon so you create a link to https://www.amazon.com. That's an uncloaked link because that's the original target URL.
Lasso can cloak links to make it look like a URL from your own site. So for example if you add Amazon.com as a target URL, Lasso will create a cloaked version like: yourwebsite.com/amazon. That URL will redirect to Amazon.com.
Cloaking links are used for branding and tracking. But according to Amazon's TOC, they don't want you to use cloaked links to Amazon in your content.
We get ask about this because of this section from the Amazon Associates Operating Agreement Program Policies documentation:
“You will not cloak, hide, spoof, or otherwise obscure the URL of your Site containing Special Links (including by use of Redirecting Links) or the user agent of the application in which Content is displayed or used such that we cannot reasonably determine the site or application from which a customer clicks through such Special Link to the Amazon Site.”
This is Amazon’s only reference to “cloaking.” When Amazon uses the term “cloak” in this context they’re actually referring to the act of obscuring the referring URL of the site that the link is being clicked from.
So when you add an Amazon URL to Lasso, and then link to it in your content, Lasso will automatically not link to the cloaked version, but instead, the full Amazon URL so you're in compliance with their TOC.
This is an easy way to ensure compliance with Amazon links so they don’t use cloaking.
That said, there's only one tool that Amazon may allow to cloak links and that's Geniuslink. And while possible, we don't recommend cloaking geni.us links, as Amazon may have issue with that. But those links are not "pretty." It's mainly just for tracking and control.
With Lasso, you already have full control over your links, including Amazon products. So the only downside to not cloaking is the ability to say shorter versions on a video or podcast.
Link Cloaking vs Link Shortening
The definition of shortening an affiliate link as “link cloaking” is incorrect. It's called link shortening and it's different than cloaking. This makes it easier to understand how cloaked links are addressed in Amazon’s TOC:
“You will not use a link shortening service in a manner that makes it unclear that you are linking to an Amazon Site.“
In other words, if it’s not obvious that a shortened affiliate link on your site sends customers to Amazon, you’re not compliant.
However, this doesn’t apply for Amzn.to links. But for other link shortening services, it's not clear that the link goes to Amazon when you hover over it.