There are a ton of websites, about WordPress and other topics that choose to cloak their affiliate links. Some do it for nefarious reasons, some do it because they want to track outbound clicks and keep track of stats and what not.
My question is: Do you trust or indeed use websites who do this?
Especially when it comes to blogs about WordPress. Do you visit sites and click on the links?
In an ideal world where everything is shiny and wondrous, their would be no need to have affiliate links what so ever. I use them, I’ll be frank about it.
However I don’t cloak them. Why? Well I (and I’m sure some of you do as well) tend to copy and paste the link if I am unsure of the originators intention.
By this I mean I like to cut off the referrer’s affiliate link tracking, if I think it’s purely to push you to a website purely to make money.
This masking method is rife within the list post mentality of some WordPress blogs about WordPress.
If I trust the source and they have given some insight into the physical link to hand then more often than not I will of course contribute to their earnings with a deserved click on a cloaked affiliate link.
However I am seeing more and more cloaking when it comes to WordPress theme / plugin blog posts. I’m sure many have valid reasons such as tracking and what not.
Typical affiliate cloaked links:
The type of links above give you no choice. They serve only to make money, there is no way to cut and paste the link without it being accredited to the originator.
For me? I don’t like it, I don’t do it myself, I don’t see the point in reality. Especially when JetPack tells you what links are clicked on anyways!
Do you trust them or use them?
What do you think? Do you click on cloaked affiliate links? Do you even know they’re cloaked? As ever, I’m keen to get fellow WordPress blog readers opinions, let me know with a comment.