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Cloaking with Google Adwords Revealed!

Posted on October 29, 2007 by Tim Schroeder

First let me say that in the long run it’s probably better to setup your own landing page when doing PPC affiliate marketing. I’ll get into some of those specific reasons in another post.

There are however times when you might want to do PPC direct linking or cloaking first. I personally have been doing a lot of direct linking lately and have gathered a list of a few good candidates for future PPC landing pages. So why should you do some testing with direct linking or cloaking in the first place?

You save time and possibly some money!

An affiliate offer on the outside might look good but ends up being a really poor performer on the merchant end. Creating landing pages takes time and you don’t want to waste that time on an offer that’s not going to convert well.

By cloaking or direct linking you will have a general idea on if you can send sufficient traffic to the landing page. Is there enough keyword volume?

Maybe you want to just test the waters in PPC to see how much this traffic will likely cost you. Is the commission on the offer high enough for what you might have to pay for the traffic?

Finally, you can get a general idea of the offer’s conversion ratio before setting up a landing page and maybe buying a new domain.

So now that I’ve given you a few reasons on why you might want to consider using cloaked pages with Google Adwords I’m going to tell you HOW to do it.

CLOAKING WITH GOOGLE ADWORDS:

1. Paste the following code into the page you want to use for cloaking:

<html><head><script>window.status = ‘ ‘;</script><meta http-equiv=”Content-Language” content=”en-us”>
<title>—TITLE—</title><meta name=”keywords” content><meta name=”description” content></head><frameset border=”0″ frameborder=”0″ marginleft=”0″ margintop=”0″ marginright=”0″ marginbottom=”0″ rows=”100%,*”><frame src=—URL— scrolling=”auto” frameborder=”no” border=”0″ noresize><frame topmargin=”0″ marginwidth=”0″ scrolling=”no” marginheight=”0″ frameborder=”no” border=”0″ noresize><noframes><body></body></noframes></frameset></html>

2. Change the “—TITLE—” above to something appropriate.

3. Convert the Landing Page URL to Unicode.

To do this, you can visit one of the following websites.

1. tokira.net/unicode or
2. fantomaster.com/fantomasSuite/shadowCoder/fascodersv-e.cgi

Just type in the offers domain such as “http://www.amazon.com” into the field and submit it. It will convert it to a URL that looks like: &#104;&#116;&#116;&#112;&#058;//&#119;&#119;&#119;.&#097;etc…

4. Paste the new Unicode URL into the “—URL—” section of the code above.

5. Upload your NEW CLOAKED PAGE! You are done!

I setup a quick example cloaked page here on eMonetized. Check Out MyBlogLog. 🙂 Notice how the url in the status bar didn’t change!

Normally when using PPC, the cloaked page would be on a relevant root domain. For example if I wanted to direct link to a software website with my own URL I would use something like AmazingSoftwareNow.com as the Google Adwords display URL (which is also the cloaked domain). The Adwords clickthrough URL would of course still be your affiliate link.

You could also try using a domain with the trademarked keyword in it if you want to be even more risky. For example if the affiliate offer you want to link to is SoftwareDeals.com, see if SoftwareDeal.info is available and cloak that domain.

Now to the big question: Does Adwords really allow you to use cloaking?
The short answer is no, but often times they that don’t catch it at all or at least not right away. Also check the merchant’s program terms. I don’t consider myself an “anything goes” blackhat kind of guy nor do I personally consider this a highly unethical technique. You will have to make your own decision on cloaking. I have not tried much cloaking with PPC lately but in the past it did work.

Good Luck! If you found this post helpful please share it via the social bookmarking icons below and subscribe to my feed.

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13 Responses to “Cloaking with Google Adwords Revealed!”

  1. News Archive

    - 30th Oct, 07 02:10pm

    interesting …. I should try this

  2. Matthew Anton

    - 1st Nov, 07 05:11pm

    Very interesting read, but idk if I have the guts to utilize it haha. Maybe test it out on a site I don’t care about, but very informative non the less.

  3. Stephan Miller

    - 2nd Nov, 07 03:11pm

    Very interesting read,

  4. Michael Woo

    - 3rd Nov, 07 03:11pm

    hmm.. when it comes to changing codes, it just gives me the shiver..

  5. Steven Finch

    - 11th Nov, 07 05:11pm

    This is a really interesting post. Thanks

  6. iry

    - 13th Nov, 07 03:11pm

    hi, is there any reason to change the landing Page URL to Unicode instead of let say http://www.domain.com?id=abc in the iframe? 🙂

  7. PPC Coach

    - 16th Nov, 07 12:11am

    That’s not cloaking, that’s iframing. Totally different.

    Cloaking involves showing different content to the googlebot that is checking your page, usually highly seo optimized, even for ppc. While redirecting the user to the offer page immediately if it’s not the googlebot.

    This is just iframing an offer. It works, but is not cloaking.

  8. adi

    - 24th Mar, 08 11:03pm

    If I try it, will they ban me?

  9. make money with ebay

    - 5th May, 08 08:05am

    Adwords gives me the error “Inaccurate display URL”. Why?

  10. Make Friends, Earn Money

    - 4th Jun, 08 06:06pm

    like the idea but I’m not sure I’d want to give it a go as I don’t want to to get my site banned. I may try it out on another domain i own though.

  11. Greymatterstuff

    - 17th Jul, 08 02:07pm

    Adwords does not appear to allow cloaking.Tried a bit and gave up!

    greymatterstuff
    http://online-money-matter.blogspot.com/

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