How cloaking works

Cloaking in affiliate marketing is a way to disguise affiliate links, that is, a “grey” method of promoting offers. Usually, it is used to bypass moderation on ad networks that have strict advertising rules. Affiliate marketing is directly related to the term “cloaking”, as the largest traffic sources – such as Facebook, Google, Instagram and Yandex Direct – regularly put sticks in the wheels of affiliates. Even “white” ads don’t always get through moderation – for example, health and beauty products don’t always get through Google and Facebook.

Cloaking in affiliate marketing is a tool that allows you to display different pages depending on the parameters of the incoming traffic. Therefore, the target audience is directed to the real landing page with the offer, while moderators, search robots and untargeted users are shown a “white” page.

It is not something that is taught in courses on cloaking to fool the search engines. Ideally, cloaking is set up by a back-end developer who can select and customize software, test scripts, finalize functionality, and work with the API of such tools. However, with the help of special cloaking services, even ordinary mortals can master this scheme. After all, SEO specialists and doorway specialists, who generate traffic using keyword overspam, consider cloaking a must, they cloak and are not developers.

Example of cloaking

To understand what cloaking is, look at the following example: an affiliate promotes potency pills, but instead of the real landings, the moderators see a page with content on the same topic – it could be a weight loss program or a subscription to diet recipes.

What methods of cloaking there are in affiliate marketing

Setting up cloaking is usually done with the help of:

  1. Trackers. Most tracking tools include a traffic distribution system, so you can make the cloak link using a tracker with a TDS (Traffic Distribution System). In addition, trackers often already include integration with different ad networks, which makes it easier to customize the cloaking.

A similar traffic distribution mechanism is at the heart of Smartlink, which explains why it is called “Smart Link”. Affiliates send mixed traffic with different parameters from any sources and geos to LosPollos smartlinks, and the rotation algorithm redirects users to the relevant offer.

  1. Cloaking services. They can be self-hosted or cloud-based. Cloaking services are self-hosted or cloud-based. Due to the effectiveness and demand for cloaking, it is not surprising that there are specialized cloaking services that offer detailed configuration and customisation options.
  2. Manually configured redirects. In this case, cloaking is configured using redirects and requires certain programming skills, but it allows you to save your budget. 

With all the advantages and opportunities that cloaking gives, do not take it as a panacea. Cloaking is a banned technique on all advertising platforms. No matter how correctly you set up cloaking, sooner or later it will be detected and your profile will be banned. But without cloaking, it is almost impossible to promote many offers. 

When to use cloaking

The cloaking service helps to bypass moderation even with banned offers and to send traffic from any sources until moderators do not detect domain substitution.

So, in affiliate marketing cloaking allows you to:

  1. Bypass the ad networks’ rules regarding advertising and safely pass moderation. 
  2. Protect your advertising campaign from bots. Thanks to traffic distribution, bots also “see” another page.
  3. Promote the page in search. SEO-specialists often use cloaking services for promotion in search engine results, so that over-optimized pages get into the index. Cloaking is also relevant for those who know how to make money from doorways.
  4. Protect the advertising campaign from spy services that parse statistics and help competitors copy successful schemes.
  5. Personalize landing pages. The traffic distribution system allows you to customize a landing page for different audiences – for example, to show ordinary users from a certain geo a local language landing page.

What if you don’t use cloaking

To newbies who are just getting into affiliate marketing, cloaking seems technically difficult and financially impractical. That’s why many people ignore cloaking as a method of promotion and traffic filtering. So that you can definitely decide whether to make cloaking or not, let’s see what you risk in the second case:

  1. An advertising campaign that violates the rules of the advertising network will not be allowed, and the account will be blocked.
  2. You will have to work only with “white” offers or refuse to promote on large advertising platforms. 
  3. Your scheme will be easily detected by competitors, because of which it will burn out faster. 

To put it straight, you can work without cloaking, but with it you can work more comfortably, more profitably and without restrictions.

Setting up a cloaking – how to do it right

Before making a cloaking, the affiliate should create two versions of the landing page: one should contain real information about the offer, the other – fully meet the requirements of the advertising network where the campaign will be placed. In this case, it is important to make both pages of a high quality, using all the features and secrets of creating a selling landing. “White” page should reflect the essence of the offer, so that moderators do not suspect that it is a cloaking, an example – the same diet pills. The white page can contain any useful information related to weight loss. When the two pages are ready, you can set up cloaking to distribute the traffic.

How to set up a cloaking in a CPA tracker

If you cloak with a tracker, its script is integrated into the code of the “white” page. Built-in filtering algorithms analyze the parameters of each click and direct targeted and non-targeted traffic to the links specified in the settings. Trackers are a very useful thing to split traffic, but more often they are just used for cloaking.

So choose and install a cloaking program (the top cloaking trackers are listed below). Cloud trackers do not require installation, and self-written software must be pre-installed on the server. It is better to choose cloaking services without redirects, as they can be detected as cloaking by Google Ads and Facebook. It is important that they have an updated database of bots. 

Let’s see how to cloak Google, Fb and Yandex campaigns using the example of the popular Keitaro tracker.

  1. Add a list of bots for cloaking so that the service can identify suspicious traffic. To do this, go to “Service” – “Settings”. In the “bots” tab, set the switch to “Yes” against all fields. If you have your own list of IP addresses of bots, you can manually add it using the “Additional IP list”. Save the settings.
  1. The next step is to create a new campaign by clicking “Create” in the “Campaigns” tab and entering a name.
  1. Now you can create flows – first “Interceptor” for the “Blacklist”. In the “Scheme” tab, select “Action” – “Do Nothing.” 
  1. Then in the “Filters” tab you need to select the “Or” relationship and set the filters: proxy, User Agent, IPv6, countries, bot (all of them will be redirected to the white page).
  1. In the “Edit Flow” section, select the “Scheme” tab – “Direct URL” and paste the link to the landing page.
  1. In the “Filters” tab, you need to specify the target audience parameters: select the “and” relationship, add filters by device type, language, country, etc. (depending on the ad network, add filters by device type, language, country, etc.). (depending on the advertising network with which the affiliate works).
  2. It is preferable to create a third flow where those who are not identified as target traffic, but have no suspicious characteristics, will be directed. The type of flow will be “Closing” and in the “Schema” write “Do nothing”. These users will be redirected to a ”’white” page.
  1. In order for the cloaking to work properly, you need to add a “white” offer to the real landing page, having previously cleaned it and brought it to compliance with the rules of the advertising network.
  2. Download the page, rename the file to index.php and upload it to the root folder of the domain.
  1. In the campaign you have created, go to the Integration tab and select the Click Client v3 method. Follow the instructions that appear at the bottom.
  2. Download the kclick_client.php file and upload to the root directory as well.
  1. Select the field with the html code. It should be copied and pasted into the index.php file at the very top before the page code itself, and then saved in UTF-8 encoding.
  2. This completes the cloaking setup in Keitaro, now you can use the link. But it’s even better to disable the flow for real users during moderation, so that everyone gets to the white page, including the moderators who have successfully managed to disguise themselves as a target audience.

Cloaking services for affiliate marketing

Almost all cloaking services have an identical mechanism and about the same functionality. Therefore, before cloaking affiliate links using special software or cloud services, affiliates should choose a suitable cloaking tool.


This is a self-written program from IM Group with open source code and a lot of automatic filters to split traffic. Cloaking is installed on their server, so it is safer than cloud services. It is suitable for cloaking on Google, Instagram, Facebook, Yandex. You can use the free demo version or buy a lifetime license for $330.

Cloak IT

Cloud-based cloaking service integrated with many trackers and website builders. Regularly updates the database of bots, collects statistics and traffic parameters, filters it with AI algorithms. Google, Facebook, Instagram, MyTarget, TikTok cloaking with this service. There is no free version, paid version costs 100-400 dollars per month.

Cloaking House

AI-based cloud cloaking service used on Facebook, Yandex, MyTarget and TikTok. It requires no technical skills to use, is easy and flexible to customise, and the database of bots is constantly updated. The service costs from $30 to $200 depending on the plan. There is a free 7-day trial.


Another cloud service with a simple interface and a minimal set of additional options. There is no free version, but the paid version is inexpensive compared to its competitors – $25 per month with the ability to integrate up to 10 domains. It is most convenient to work with in FB, but Blackhole is also suitable for other networks.


A tracker with a built-in traffic distribution system and the ability to create white pages. It doesn’t use redirects for tracking and is suitable for teams. There is a free version with a limit of 10,000 requests per month. The paid version costs from €675 per month.

Traffic Armor 

English-language cloaking service with geo-routing, flexible filtering by IP address and user-agent, large database of VPNs, proxies, bots. Here you can create “blacklists” for bots, moderators, spy tools, competitors and other unwanted guests. Pricing is based on the number of clicks and starts at $129 per month.

The most popular cpa trackers with cloaking:

  • Keitaro is an old and well-known tracking tool. Not designed for large traffic volumes, not the fastest and not the easiest to customise, but proven. It has multi-level statistics, detailed reports, its own database with 500 thousand IP addresses of bots and 100 ad networks.
  • Adspect is a tracker with additional functions for affiliates. A generator of white lists and mobile applications is integrated into the account. Once you know how, you can set up a cloaking in the tracker in a few minutes.
  • Binom is a powerful and fast tracker with report generation and detailed statistics. The tool needs to be installed on your own or rented server.

Experienced affiliates know how to cloak links with Google Form. The essence is as follows: Google Form links are “trusted” by Facebook, Google Ads, TikTok and other platforms, and allowed to run advertising campaigns with them. You can adapt the form to your own offer, add a headline, survey, background and most importantly – an affiliate link. At the end we get 2 in 1 – a ready-made preland and cloak. 

In the same way, you can cloak with any service where you can use the link: Google Docs, Medium, Telegram, Figma, Instagram + Tumbrl profile, Viber, as well as PWA apps and Android apps.


A beginner affiliate has to learn a lot of tools and one of them is cloaking, affiliate marketing is a minefield that you can’t get through without “grey” methods. Now you know what cloaking is, you can choose the right service and you know how to set up cloaking in a CPA tracker. In fact, cloaking programs and cloud services can be mastered by anyone. If you look at the details and follow the recommendations, they are not really that complicated.

You can deal with cloaking in different ways, but this method solves certain problems of affiliates and allows you to earn more – this is a fact, and as someone said, the winners are not judged.

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