Link cloaking is a valuable tool, but only some affiliate networks allow it. Before we get into Amazon's rules for link cloaking, let's look into what link cloaking is.
What Is Link Cloaking?
Link cloaking is when you conceal your affiliate link with a redirect. Instead of readers seeing your affiliate link, they'll see a link with your domain instead.
Let's say you want to promote a product on Amazon, so you create an affiliate link:
☝️ That's an uncloaked link because that's the original target URL. It's the raw affiliate URL that doesn't include your site's domain name.
But, Lasso can cloak links to make it look branded with your site. For example, if you add the URL above, a cloaked link would be something like: yourwebsite.com/amazon.
With cloaked links, leaders will see your site name on the link but will be redirected to the above Amazon product when they click the link.
Does Amazon Allow Cloaked Links?
According to Amazon's Terms of Service, they don't want you to use cloaked Amazon links.
While we aren't lawyers, we draw this conclusion 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.”
They also reference link shortening:
“You will not use a link shortening service in a manner that makes it unclear that you are linking to an Amazon Site.“
Essentially, Amazon's biggest concern is obscuring the referring URL of the site that the link goes to.
In other words, if it’s not obvious that a cloaked or shortened affiliate link on your site sends customers to Amazon, you’re not compliant.
However, this doesn’t apply to amzn.to links. But for other link shortening services, it's not clear that the link goes to Amazon when you hover over it.
Does Lasso Cloak Amazon Links?
Lasso doesn't cloak Amazon links. The setting to enable link cloaking literally disappears as an option whenever you add an Amazon link to Lasso.
Note: The only exception is if you use geni.us links. If that's the case, Lasso will respect your decision to obscure the Amazon URL.
If you have any questions, please contact us via the chat bubble in the bottom right corner of this page or email us at [email protected]. We're here to help!