I’ve spent many years a systems engineer, systems administrator, and technical support, and I’ve probably seen all the “stupid user tricks” that get people in trouble, expose their data and systems, and are just not common sense.
Now, I’ve been retired from that life for quite awhile but I still build websites, and own 7 safelists. I see many of my members submitting the raw (uncloaked) target URL’s on their ads.
First, there are unscrupulous marketers out there that literally “hijack” your sales by simply substituting THEIR affiliate ID for yours. Easy to do. By using a URL cloaker like TinyURL , Viral URL , or even Google Cloaker , you are hiding your true affiliate ID so it cannot easily be stolen.
Other than link protection, the next biggest advantage of using link cloakers is to show you the statistics for your ads. A cloaker like ViralURL (free) gives not only clicks, but also WHERE your clicks have originated. This helps you determine the effectiveness of your ads, and make adjustments (look up Split Testing).
TinyURL and Google Cloaker
TinyURL and Google Cloaker are free, and do provide protection from stealing your sales, but I prefer the statistics and flexibility with ViralURL.
My recommendation is for ViralURL, especially if you take an upgrade. The statistics are really great, and you can change the original URL and still retain the cloaked URL – that way you don’t have to hunt down the hundreds of places you might have used that cloaked URL if someone releases a new version of your squeeze page and changes the URL.
Another advantage of Viral URL is the mailer. The target audience with ViralURL members is heavily weighed to Internet Marketing, and the stats I see from the ViralURL mailer are pretty decent.
WorldProfit Silver and Platinum Members
For WorldProfit members, the URL Cloaker and Magic List Builder cloaking functions have great ad tracking statistics, but once you cloak a URL, the source URL cannot be changed.
An advantage to both these cloakers is that all my WorldProfit links are branded with my site, WebcastSource.com
One HUGE benefit of the WorldProfit Magic List Builder is that you can make ANY webpage a squeeze page. After your page is displayed, a pop-up appears with WorldProfit offers, or any webpage you want to display. Here is an example of this popup capability:
What I Use
I have my own system, a software package I license called ShortURL that is installed on my webserver. The flexibility, ability to change source URL, the superior tracking stats, and graphs, make it worthwhile. All of my links are Branded to my own domain:
To see an example of ShortURL statistics, submit this link in a new tab on your browser (include the trailing “+”)
This is a sophisticated tracking tool, and even has a membership program, although I do not offer that as a service.