Sunday , 28 November 2021
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How to cloak affiliate links correctly

In the vastness of the global network, there are a huge number of «delicious» platforms that have a huge amount of traffic. Instagram Facebook, Google Ads, Instagram, TikTok are the most basic ones that come to mind. And the list is far from exhaustive. But do you know what unites these platforms in addition to high-quality traffic and leading positions in the world? Very strict rules that limit a good half of all verticals applicable in traffic arbitration.

Paradoxically, this fact only adds to the marketing attractiveness of the platforms. After all, potential competition is significantly reduced, since such content is prohibited on the site in principle. But how to get this traffic if the rules of the systems prohibit advertising of this nature? For these purposes, cloaking exists, a very old and simple technique that remains one of the most effective to this day. And this is despite the constant struggle that services are waging with cloakers.

And in this article you will find the most complete guide on cloaking on any top platform. In detail, step by step, voluminously.

Briefly about the essence of cloaking

For those who have not been familiar with this method before, we will go through the basics a little. Cloaking is a traffic distribution process that allows you to show various content to bots, moderators and target users. In simple words, you can direct bots and moderators who check your landing page for «lice» to one page, and users to a completely different one. And everything will be clean for the inspectors, no violations. And users will get exactly the content that you actually advertise. And you – your commission from the advertiser.

At first glance, everything is simple, a couple of technical gadgets, and you can easily promote any offer on any site. But in practice, there are a lot of difficulties. Moderators and platform developers perfectly understand how the cloakers are going to mask their illegal offers, they also know the technical principles, so they direct huge efforts to combat them.

And the sanctions, if you are discovered, are unambiguous – account blocking. And not only will the advertising campaign be closed, you will have to create a new account to launch it again. So also the funds in the account will be blocked.

Cloaking is an illegitimate technique, it is punishable in any serious service. You should be clearly aware of what you are doing so that there are no questions.

How to do cloaking correctly

The principle of cloaking in affiliate marketing
The principle of cloaking in affiliate marketing

Based on the factors voiced, we were guided in the preparation of the article-guide – by efficiency. It’s not enough to know how to set up the cloaking service itself. You need to understand the principles of checking, building landing pages and creatives, and other aspects in order to be caught as late as possible.

Yes, it is later. Because no service or method gives a 100% guarantee that you will be quietly cloaking forever. No, sooner or later cloaking will be revealed, the account will be banned. But in the case of illiterate cloaking, this will happen even before the first billing, and in the case of literate – outside the drain period.

Therefore, here is the first step of our instructions and the main advice – never use your main account in cloaking. Never use your personal name or the name of your own brand if you are going to do cloaking. This method always implies the creation of a new and clean account, and in the case of professional affiliate marketing, even several accounts at once.

And the second point of our instructions immediately follows from this – never create more than ONE advertising campaign on ONE account. If you are caught in cloaking on any AC, then the entire array that is currently hanging on the account will collapse. As well as a shared wallet, from which the budget goes to all hands at once.

And the third point – never throw more than a weekly budget on an advertising campaign that uses cloaking. After all, you can be discovered at any time, so it’s better to lose a small part of the budget than the monthly limit. If there are threshold figures for the start of the AC, of course, it will not work out to throw less. But with proper cloaking, you will have time to exhaust these threshold amounts 10 times before you are discovered.

By the way, cloaking in traffic arbitration has other uses. For example:

  • hiding the bundle from competitors, you don’t need them (competitors);
  • you don’t want to show the platform that you are driving traffic through a pre-land, and not directly;
  • you are hiding the source of your traffic from the advertiser himself. After all, some offers clearly state prohibitions on certain sources, for example, social networks. And what if you work exclusively with Facebook? Some affiliates decide not to pass by a profitable offer, although, for such manipulations, you can already get a ban not from the platform, but from the affiliate program. And for an affiliate – it’s much scarier.

Which verticals are prohibited

The question is relevant, but it is difficult to answer it clearly. After all, the specific policy depends on the platform. Gambling is allowed on some advertising platforms, it is completely prohibited on others, and only partially allowed on third ones ― for casino offers that have registration in a certain zone.

The most accurate way to check whether your vertical and the current offer are prohibited is to check with the help of site moderation. Just create a AC, throw the landing page from the offer as the target link of the creative, send it for verification. You can skip it, you can block it, you can’t. But we definitely test from a new account, and if the AC is blocked, we don’t use it anymore.

Offhand, there are several verticals that are prohibited in most of the most popular advertising networks, contextual advertising services and social networks.

These:

  • adult in any form, dating, gaming, streaming services and so on;
  • gambling, at least casino offers without a license;
  • nutra, most of it, because it has 100% no proof of effectiveness, license;
  • swipstakes, some part of offers;
  • micro-loans, again, are part of organizations without a license;
  • ICO and cryptocurrency-related projects (partially);
  • as well as any offers that mislead the client, deceive, give false information, use unverified data.

Preparation for cloaking

A significant part of the cloaking guides begins directly with a cloaca review. That is, the service with which the whole procedure will take place. But this is fundamentally the wrong approach. After all, a preparatory stage is necessarily necessary beforehand, and what is interesting is that in all cases it is the most extensive and labor-intensive. Then the mechanism will work by itself. And the affiliate will be engaged in the preparation of the next account, AC or the selection of a new offer for work. So, let’s start from the beginning.

Working with hosting

You need hosting. Even if you used to do quite normally without it, believe me, now you will need it. Yes, many affiliates who are not engaged in cloaking usually do not buy hosting. Why, they promote advertising campaigns through the same social networks, pour traffic directly to the offer, trackers choose cloud ones. So there is really no special need. Until they find out that another extremely profitable offer is simply prohibited on their favorite site. And so, when cloaking becomes necessary, hosting will also be needed.

For what exactly:

  • you will need at least a second landing page on a completely different hosting, as well as a clean domain;
  • if the offer provides an insufficiently clear or intriguing landing page, or on the contrary, too «dirty» in your opinion for target users, you need a pre-landing page, which you will also upload to your hosting;
  • if you use a self-hosted tracker or cloaker, then you will also need to upload it somewhere;
  • advertisers transmit some landing pages of offers in the form of an archive with a target link.
  • Plus, in your work you will probably supplement your toolkit with various utilities, which also need to be placed on hosting. Therefore, it was decided – hosting should be.

But here’s exactly which one will suit us?

Virtual hosting  – not right away. He is absolutely not suitable for us. At a minimum, because the management will be limited, we will not be able to install and configure the software that we want.

VPS-hosting – this is already a good option. In fact, the same virtual hosting, but we have a dedicated server that we completely take control of. But often, let’s just say, we will not be able to do absolutely «dark affairs» there. Therefore, the option, although acceptable, is not the best.

VPS Hosting
VPS Hosting

A physical server is perhaps the ideal option. All functions are available, full control, there is no moderation and verification. This will be our cozy corner for further cloaking and, in principle, the «main base» of the affiliate.

Cloud hosting is even better. But there is a small dilemma, the advantages of cloud hosting are often useless for an affiliate. That is, it distributes streams between a mass of servers. Therefore, the site will withstand almost any load within reasonable limits, and the work will be completely uninterrupted, the main server will fall, the nearest one will take over its tasks. But, let’s face the facts, we won’t need this for cloaking in affiliate marketing. We will not have a crazy load if there are at least 5-6 hundred transitions per day – this is not bad, for TIER 3 and with good promotion, the size can grow to 5-6 thousand. But this is still far from the maximum load for a normal physical server. Moreover, simultaneous online is unlikely to be too high. Moreover, remember that this load will go to the white page or pre-land. Yes, some advertisers also ask to put the land on their hosting, they throw it off in the archive. But this is rare, and in this case the server will still withstand without problems.

As for the fee, there are no options, a free server, too limited in capabilities, it will definitely not work for cloaking in affiliate marketing.

Working with a domain

Here, too, any one will not do. We need a trusted domain for our potential advertising platform. Therefore, it is often worth immediately weeding out free domains like .xyz, .site, .pw. However, with a few exceptions. Most platforms completely skip some free domains without unnecessary suspicion. For example, the famous sites.google.com . Here you can really create your own page, quickly adapt it to the white page, and put it into operation. But hosting, as you understand, we will still need.

Constructor of Google site
Constructor of Google site

And, to be honest, this option is still suitable for the test, but it is unlikely for normal work. Firstly, the limitations of the constructor do not allow us to make a really high-quality white page, you will understand what I mean when we get to the appropriate section. Secondly, although the pages on the constructor are approved, they live less in the future. Maybe this is due to the fact that they are checked more often. After all, developers of advertising platforms are not fools, they often understand that a serious advertiser is unlikely to create a landing page on Google site. And immediately put it in the hidden list of potentially suspicious. No one knows the specific algorithm, how this happens, except for the developers themselves.

Therefore, a clean and white domain is recommended, of which there are a lot on the network. In fact, at discounts, you can dial a dozen of them at once in reserve for literally $30-40.

However, as we have already said, some constructors are completely tested. Also remember about our initial instructions – one account has only one advertising campaign. This means that there is also one domain for each account. And if you take them in a bundle at a discount, then you can prepare new duplicated advertising campaigns in advance, register new accounts on the platform. Only important:

If you immediately work on the platform with a dozen accounts (and a dozen AC), so as not to «put eggs in one basket» in case of a ban, remember that you need to target each AC to your part of the audience. Divide the TA into several groups, create your own AC for each. Otherwise, you risk starting a competition with yourself, which artificially increases the CPC.

Getting or creating a black page

The next stage is the black page. This is a landing page for our target users. It is often provided to you by the advertiser himself through the affiliate program in which you are registered. For example, this is what the offer looks like in the version of our affiliate program.

Example of an offer
Example of an offer

And below are attached examples of landing pages to which traffic should be redirected. Many advertisers provide several landing pages at once for a lead, for registration, for a bonus page, and so on.

Example of a landing offer
Example of a landing offer

Or just one common landing page, on which all traffic needs to be poured, regardless of the target audience groups or sources.

Example of a single landing offer
Example of a single landing offer

Also, as we have already mentioned, some advertisers provide their landing page in the form of a page template that needs to be uploaded to the hosting. And it already has a target link to the offer site itself, or details for registration and transaction execution. It all depends on the specific offer.

In any case, the landing page for the black page provides an offer. But you may well decide that the provided landing page is not able to sufficiently hook the traffic that you are going to pour. In fact, many professional affiliates make up landing pages at a level better than those stated in the vast majority of offers. Accordingly, you can make a pre-land, or as it is also called, transit. In this case, it is the transit that becomes the black page.

It should be understood that this page necessarily does NOT comply with the rules of the advertising platform and is NOT able to pass moderation. Otherwise, you don’t need cloaking, and the whole technique is used in vain.

Therefore, you can place anything on the page to attract the customer’s attention and retain interest. Be guided exclusively by the selling component, in this case it is no longer necessary to pay attention to the rules and legitimacy.

We will use the Black page already in trackers, clackers or in manual methods. Now we get the land itself, a link to it, or upload the file to the hosting and postpone.

Buy or create a white page

Now the next and more responsible step. We need a second page, where not users will go, but only bots and moderators of the advertising platform  – white page. And the main criterion now is not efficiency, but «purity». It does not matter to us at all how well thought out the selling core on the page is, even if it is absolutely incompetent or absent. The main thing is the trusted domain, the visual absence of clues for the disclosure of our cloaking. No scraps of someone else’s code, no advertising modules leading to not the most trusted sites. In principle, it is better not to put ad blocks, and most importantly, there should be no integration with the platform itself. If we promote for Facebook, then the site should not be integrated into a social network and have buttons for quick access to the brand page.

If we purchase an empty template or even create a page from scratch, this will not be necessary. But if we just take the competitors’ template, then we’ll have to tinker with cleaning.

Cleaning white page

This work boils down to removing everything unnecessary. Remnants of code, scripts that we don’t need, links to other resources, ad blocks. And most importantly, you will need to demolish all the content completely. As you understand, not only is it not unique, it also hardly correlates correctly with our offer.

Filling the white page

So we got the page. We created, bought a template or simply borrowed it from competitors – it doesn’t matter if we cleaned it correctly. By the way, some cloaking services additionally provide their own constructor or even a set of valid white pages for various platforms they work with. This service costs extra money, but with large volumes it often pays off. For example, the Adspect cloaker provides an additional service – an unlimited page generator. And in two formats at once. The first one generates content based on Google Play apps. You just need to select an associative row by keys, and then the auto-rewrite of application content with thematic content is immediately uploaded to the prepared white page. The second service multiplies pages based on a machine rewrite to an unlimited number.

In fact, such services are convenient if you work for a quantity, create hundreds of accounts (rather, buy), open AC in a similar amount. Then such a stream of even crookedly made white pages justifies itself. If you have no more than a dozen AC, it is recommended to work manually. And the content will be better, and the chance of a ban is much lower, and for free. After all, the designated services cost $150 and $200 per month, respectively.

White page generation services from Adspect
White page generation services from Adspect

Okay, now we have an empty, completely secure and legitimate page that needs to be turned into a white page, how do we do this?

It is necessary to fill in the white page in accordance with all the rules of the selected site. And this means that you will have to read the documentation, look at the company’s policy, maybe ask for advice online. You can learn more about traffic sources and their rules here.

Okay, we understood what is possible and what is not on the site – it remains only to fill the page with content. There is nothing complicated about this. After all, you have no goal to sell the product, just pretend that you are selling it. Therefore, you can use the simplest formulations, do not invent a USP, do not bother about whether you get into the TA or not.

But many affiliates make a key mistake at this point, they create a white page thematically unrelated to the ad. «What’s the difference?» they think, because it’s logical to assume that this page is only needed for verification. But the moderation system in the main advertising platforms is built in such a way that thematically unrelated landing pages and ads immediately arouse suspicion. And you either will not pass moderation, or you will simply be bombarded with repeated checks again and again.

But, how to thematically link the offer and the white page, if this vertical is in principle prohibited on the platform? It’s simple, you need to «smooth out the corners».

Adult dating offer? Then a page with an ordinary, innocent and completely mainstream dating.

Forbidden gut? A page advertising an officially authorized and completely legal drug, pretending that our partner is firm N, which everyone knows.

Casino? Not a drop, an innocent bookmaker or even a website with FREE forecasts for sports events.

The general principle, I think, is clear. We delete everything forbidden, but we definitely keep the general theme or at least the direction. After all, we will still show the creative to both the user and the moderators. And the first ones, if there is no thematic correspondence with the black page, will not become leads. And the second, if there is no thematic correspondence already with the white page, will block our advertising campaign.

Making creatives

This moment is even more important for verification than the white page. No matter how good a cloaker we use, and no matter how well we set it up, all attempts will be in vain if we make a mistake with the creative. Yes, for an illegitimate creative, the account will not be blocked, they will simply refuse to publish advertisements until we change them. But for moderators, this is a wake-up call. And our account is already on the list of potential cloakers.

The principle is the same as with the white page, but here we must not forget about efficiency. After all, our creatives are also seen by target users. Therefore, it is recommended to make a couple of dozen creatives at once, clean from the point of view of moderators, but as close as possible to the topic of black page. On the verge, so to speak. And after a couple of days of the test, just weed out 60-80% of the worst creatives in terms of conversion rate.

Manual cloaking guide

Hooray, we’re done with the preparation. Now there is nothing stopping us from starting to cloachit and launch our advertising campaign. But for this we need to decide on a specific cloaking method. Conditionally, they can be divided into manual and automatic (services, trackers). And let’s be honest, the second ones are many times more effective. Manual methods often require not the most meager knowledge of the code, and are also revealed by Top platforms 5-10 times faster than cloaking services. But they have one serious plus, they are free (or extremely cheap).

Self-moderation and black page on white page

Quite an old way. The main point is cloaking without a cloaker as such. Our landing page, which definitely does not pass moderation, is hidden on the white page in the form of a link. Landing brings all the logic of the narrative to the final link, which leads to the real page. Therefore, it is often not worth spreading much on the white page, so that the user does not have time to lose interest before he gets to the offer. It is enough to hint in general terms what awaits him next and provide an opportunity to transition. Or even put a questionnaire in the style of, from what source did you learn about us? And in the selection button, regardless of the source, make the transition to the landing page.

The problematic point is obvious, how will our white page pass moderation if there is a link to the offer on it? Some affiliates simply try to hide the link as much as possible, to make it invisible. But this technique does not work from the word «at all». Firstly, by making the link invisible, you will hide it, including from users. Secondly, no matter how hard you try, with normal moderation, your link will be opened with ease.

But there is a way – it’s automatic moderation. If you register a page for an advertising campaign that is located on a trusted source, then most sites usually do not have serious questions about it. And moderation takes place automatically, which skips the link to the offer. Therefore, it is enough to make a white page on a trusted project, like the same Google site or even an Instagram page, moderation in FB responds perfectly to it.

Some affiliates in this case, in principle, make an unusual transit, but just an empty page with a link, so that the user definitely does not miss and does not waste time. But this option now has a near-zero chance of passing moderation.

And yes, this method, like all other manual methods, has a low level of efficiency, we warn you right away. Weak spots are easy to replace:

  • a huge loss of traffic, because this extra transit, and even without a thematic component (and there is no way to add it, otherwise you may not pass moderation) will eliminate more than half of the target users;
  • the page may fall under manual moderation for reasons known only to developers. It happens.

Any couple of complaints from users, and the advertising campaign will be sent for manual rechecking. And then it will end.

Cloaking via Google Translate

Again, rather a temporary solution, now the method works every other time (if not two), but a couple of small AC with 2-3 weeks of life can be rolled out in principle. The point is again in automatic moderation. But now we will achieve it in a different way, just turn our link into a link to Google. How to do it?

Yes, it’s easy, it’s enough to visit Google Translator, drive the link of our landing page into the translation field, and it turns into a hyperlink from Google. This means that her domain for almost any advertising platform will be a trust by default.

Turning a link into a trust via Google translate
Turning a link into a trust via Google translate

Two new problems arise. First– most of the sites will still give an error if we try to insert a link of this kind in an advertising campaign. The second is the presence of the upper header immediately under the address bar, which is already «molded» by Google Translator itself. And, as you understand, it will play somewhat on user trust.

It is not difficult to deal with both problems, we need to finalize our link. To do this, go to the site using the link received in the translator and open the page code (F12 key). We find the iframe src string that will contain our base link.

Links in the page code
Links in the page code

But that’s not what we need. Now we insert the received link into the search engine and click on it. And as a result, in the address bar that opens, we get an absolutely unrecognizable link that has a trusted domain and leads to our gray offer. And it is easily inserted into an advertising campaign on almost any platform and quickly passes automatic moderation.

Cloaking using cloakers without an IP base

As you know, most of the services do not use real lists of addresses of bots and moderators of various platforms in their settings. This is dangerous, because proving this fact, the site itself can easily cover up the service through legal proceedings. Therefore, now cloaking services prefer not to take risks. But at the same time, they do not prohibit the use of custom address lists for redirects or blocks. In principle, the situation is not getting too complicated. Just another stage appears – the search for the list itself. It can be downloaded on the global network on thematic resources, but it is unlikely to be relevant. After all, good lists are a commodity, so they are sold. Not in official stores, of course, but on specialized forums for affiliate marketing professionals.

So, we have three options. If the cloaker has an up-to-date list of bots – we will not consider this case. Our instructions will work for him anyway, so it makes no sense to describe the algorithm separately. The method will be even easier. The second option is if the cloaker does not have a list of bots. And the third is if neither cloaker nor we have a list of bots. So let’s start with him.

We will need a regular traffic filtering service or a clacker, as well as a tracker. Often services combine all these functions, but we will analyze the situation when the services work separately. Therefore, we use an arbitrary one – MagicChecker and Binom. The main distinguishing feature of the pair is that we will be able to perform cloaking without a redirect, which statistically increases the final volume of traffic.

Moving on to the cloaking algorithm. We register in both services, if you want, you can immediately purchase paid versions. But we recommend using the test period for the first time. There is such an opportunity, you will save money, you will see the possibilities of tools in practice before buying.

Free trial period in Binom
Free trial period in Binom

The second step is to create our advertising campaign. This is done in MagicChecker. In fact, we will not launch this particular campaign, it is only needed for basic settings. Therefore, you can write an arbitrary name. Pay attention to the addresses of the submitted pages. In this case, the Safe Page is our white page, and the Money Page is obviously a black page. This name is used by the tracker, because officially it was created to hide bundles from competitors. So that the profitable settings of the AC do not merge in the network, and not from the moderators’ verification (but we know that…).

Creating an advertising campaign in MagicChecker
Creating an advertising campaign in MagicChecker

There is a concept of status in the tool. Active and Under review. The first one informs us that at the moment the company is working according to all the rules we have set, and we will set it up so that the entire stream goes to the black page. That is, the target page is the black page. If we switch to the Under review status, then all traffic will go to the white page.

Actually, the key feature is that we can set restrictions for the Under review status. For example, 500 impressions. Then exactly after 500 transitions, the status will change to Active. How does it work in practice? Elementary, moderation on almost any site takes about 10-15 transitions. The first half is out of traffic, the second half is when the advertising campaign is already being launched. And if you don’t have a huge amount of potential traffic, then all the transitions of bots and moderators for verification fall into the first 500 clicks. However, if in doubt, you can set the limit higher. And as soon as the bots «departed», and the first 500 transitions are completed, all traffic switches to the black page and then goes exclusively there. In principle, you can temporarily suspend the stream by switching back to Under review if you are afraid of re-checking.

Setting the impression limit for Under review
Setting the impression limit for Under review

Moving on. Now we need to configure the usual filters, remember the main purpose of the tool.

  • VPN or Proxy IP. A useful filter that identifies the addresses of the main data centers of hosting companies, cloud hosting companies that provide users with their IP. Excellent protection from competitors, GEO targeting errors and other incidents;
  • boots. Protection from bots. But make no mistake, not from platform bots that check the company. But only from simple crawlers who track new campaigns permanently. Every second company has them, so they will fall solidly on your AC if you don’t close access to them;
  • magic filter. This is a personal development of the service, which is aimed at increasing the level of protection. It focuses on the tool’s own blacklists, which are updated constantly. As practice shows, it gives a good increase in protection from spy services. It is recommended to choose the Extra mode;
  • JavaScript filter. Allows you to block unwanted traffic not only based on PHP, but also on JavaScript. The settings in the useful section, for example, it is possible to block all the addresses of the Luminati proxy service. Moreover, this is one of the largest (if not the most) proxy services on the World Wide Web.
Global Filters
Global Filters

The next setting is ISP/Organizations. It allows you to extend the filter to Internet service providers. But if you don’t know exactly the addresses of the providers you want to block, the option is completely useless. However, you can set the rule «only», that is, enter trusted Internet service providers, closing access to everyone else. But working with global GEO, with such a step you will simply deprive yourself of almost all traffic.

The following setting is of interest – IP List. This is where you could enter your list of bot and moderator addresses, if you had one. But we are still considering a situation where we do not have it. Therefore, we skip the point. Moreover, the addresses entered here are not blocked, as is the case with Internet service providers, but are immediately redirected to the white page, even if the status is Active.

Well, we have prescribed all the basic rules. Now we need to turn this set of rules together with all the options into an integrated landing page. And then send it directly to the selected tracker. As we remember, in our case it is Binom.

First we save the file. To do this, click the appropriate option in the right side menu.

Saving a file to create an integrated landing page
Saving a file to create an integrated landing page

And then we save it in the archive format so that it is correctly perceived by the tracker. And we upload it as an integrated landing page.

Creating an integrated landing page
Creating an integrated landing page

This was sorted out. Now we need to find this very file on our server. To simplify, you can use the search, we remember how the landing page was named. As soon as we find a place, we need to add our real landing pages to the same folder. That is, black and white page. Just drop them into a folder so that the files are in the same directory.

­­In principle, almost all the work has already been done. It remains only to register the addresses to the pages in the cloaker itself. Remember at the very beginning, when we created the AC, we had such an option. Open the file using MagicChecker and register the address by adding html to it.

Adding links to white and black page
Adding links to white and black page

That’s it, it’s done. Our cloaking is configured, we create it through Binom. And when checking, the entire traffic flow will fall under our rules. The first 500 clicks are guaranteed to go to the white page, so we pass moderation without any problems.

Cloaking with the help of cloakers in the presence of a bot database

Now we are considering a situation where we already have a bot database. In principle, this is the most common method. Therefore, we recommend that you find the database online or purchase it in advance. If you are not working with a service that uses its built-in database. But such tools are usually more expensive, plus they are purchased through closed channels, for example, in Telegram.

We will consider our algorithm on the example of one of the most popular services at the moment – Keitaro. This is a great cloaker and tracker in one person. But the project is completely white, so it does not have its own database of addresses. But the functions for cloaking are excellent at the same time.

Let’s move on to the algorithm. We register with Keitaro, purchase a subscription or use a free trial period. As we have already said, the first option is recommended for the test.

Before we start working, we need to add our list of bots to the service database. So that it recognizes exactly those bots that will go from the site we have chosen. To do this, go to the maintenance tab, select settings in it.

Keitaro Settings
Keitaro Settings

In the window that opens, we need to find the bot settings, this is the third tab.

Select the bot settings tab
Select the bot settings tab

Now we need to use the option: consider an empty user as an agent bot. It is disabled by default, so enable it manually.

Settings for filtering bots
Settings for filtering bots

Go ahead, below you will see the option – list of bots, select – add. And in the field that opens, enter your list of addresses.

Adding a list of bot addresses
Adding a list of bot addresses

That’s it, the preliminary actions are completed. Now we can proceed to the direct setup of the advertising campaign itself. Open it in the corresponding tab on the main page, enter the desired name. In our case, it is Test.

Creating AC
Creating AC

In the new campaign, we have to create three streams. The first one is for bots and moderators who want to check our page, the second one is for buyers, those who fit the description of our target audience. And the third one is for everyone else who does not have signs of any of the above groups.

Creating the first thread. On the first tab of the stream, we need to select the type, we need the interceptor. The rest of the sliders are in the activated position initially, and we leave it that way. We configure the scheme – and among the three choices, we are interested in the last one – action.

Creating a stream for bots
Creating a stream for bots

And now the main part is filters. We need to put out a whole set of them. These:

  • the user is an agent of our platform. Usually user agents go in addition to buying IP addresses, so you should have them. And user agents are not kept in the strictest secret, respectively, a couple of minutes on Google will allow you to find them;
  • IPv6;
  • bots, primitive spy bots are meant, and not those that are aimed at checking the campaign;
  • proxy, that is, all transitions using a proxy;
  • GEO. You set up the right one, if you know exactly the GEO of potential moderators. It can be defined as the GEO of the entire company, for example, for FB – USA. But you only need to configure this option if the GEO of your target audience and the moderators of the platform does not match.

At the top of the tab, you can set the ratio. And everywhere you need to specify – «or».

Filters in the stream for bots
Filters in the stream for bots

We have finished with the first stream, we are moving on to the second – users. And we immediately notice the differences, now we are not setting intercepting, but the usual type of traffic.

Creating a stream for users
Creating a stream for users

And in the scheme now we need to redirect users to the black page we have chosen. As we have already said, in most cases the affiliate has a link to the advertiser’s landing page. And we hammer it into this window. Or a link to the pre-land, if you use this method.

Adding a link to the black page
Adding a link to the black page

Now in the filters we can configure our standard custom rules for the offer. For example, select a specific GEO if the advertiser accepts clicks only from certain countries. And also determine the type of device of the target audience, browser, language and other data. They are not important for cloaking directly, but the advertising campaign needs to be set up correctly right away, otherwise even the results of the cloaca test will be very distorted.

And after saving the stream, we create a third one for the remaining clicks. In it, we already select the last untested type of traffic, default.

Creating a stream for the rest
Creating a stream for the rest

And in the scheme, select the parameter: action ― do nothing.

Setting up the flow diagram for the rest
Setting up the flow diagram for the rest

As a result, we have three streams ready, containing rules of behavior for any persons who can click from our creative.

List of threads
List of threads

It remains only to choose the integration method. After choosing a specific method, you need to insert a piece of the proposed code into the white page (at the beginning) and save the file that Keitaro will provide directly to the root of the server.

Selecting the integration method
Selecting the integration method

That’s it, the cloaca is completely ready to work.

How can a beginner use cloaking

Novice to novice – discord. The choice of cloaca directly depends on what budget the affiliate has, how much he plans to promote advertising campaigns, whether he will focus on one account or work with a dozen at once. As for specific recommendations, with a small budget, it is worth using inexpensive services or trial periods. But not by manual methods. They are not suitable just for beginners, plus, now it does not guarantee a 50% chance of success. Modern sites have devoted too serious resources to fighting cloakers, and it is becoming more and more difficult to deceive them.

With a serious budget and a lot of simultaneous AC, you can choose a more expensive and professional service. Or just focus on professional tariff plans, they often have huge limits on clicks or the number of AC, so it will be enough for almost any size of the business.

Reviews of the services themselves can be found in other sections of our blog. Here, for example, is the current list of services for cloaking in Google Ads. And here it is for Facebook.

Video on what is cloaking links and when it is necessary

Conclusion

This manual on cloaking, I hope, was exhaustive. Finally, I will only add the thought with which this guide began – never use cloaking if you value an account, an infused budget, a brand name. In other words, for cloaking under gray offers, always use a fake account, a small budget in the Republic of Kazakhstan (pour in only weekly budgets), and also do not shine your name and brand if you use it for marketing purposes.

Author: Mark Yanovskiy
Chief Commercial Officer @ Leadbit Group - Making people happy in the CPA world A driven and ambitious Team Leader with strong interpersonal and communication skills. A proven record of success in the affiliate market industry, sales, account management and revenue growth. Experienced in building up teams from scratch along with modifying existing ones. In-depth knowledgeable of creating digital marketing strategies for mid-market and enterprises. Result-oriented on unstable and highly competitive markets. Speaker on big events of the industry.

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