Let’s talk about an important tool of affiliates – cloaking. Webmasters often use gray and black methods in their work. And all because they bring more profit than those that are legal. In this article we will discuss what cloaking is, what its purpose is, how it works in affiliate marketing and will analyze the top 10 services for working with this tool.
What is cloaking?
Cloaking is a term which can be also translated as “mask” or “hide”.
So, cloaking is a traffic splitting tool that allows you to show different content from the same page to specific audience segments. In simple words, cloaking is considered an unscrupulous or “black” method and is a technique of spoofing the content that is shown to the user when they click on a link in an ad.
What is the purpose of cloaking?
The purpose of cloaking is to divide users into 2 categories:
- Ad site moderators and verification bots. They will always be shown a page that fully complies with all rules and requirements;
- Potential customers. Users who clicked on the ad are directed to the page with the content we need, that is, with the offerer.
Why should a webmaster use cloaca?
The main advantage of cloaking is the ability to quickly achieve high positions in the search engine and provide different content for different groups of users. This allows members to receive relevant content, while unwanted users are shown an optimized page. Cloaking is often used to deal with “gray” and “black” offers, especially in cases where certain platforms or social networks prohibit openly advertising certain verticals such as gambling or crypto. In such cases, a choice arises between utilizing other traffic sources or taking a risk and trying to cheat the system.
Many don’t want to lose a large audience and therefore use cloaking in affiliate marketing to advertise banned products, while others bypass such a decision. Remember, the use of cloaking is a black method and for its use you can get banned (by the way, some people managed to get a good profit from cloaking before deleting (banning) the account).
How does cloaking work in CPA-marketing?
Cloaking in CPA-marketing can be useful for passing moderation on FB*, Adwords with advertising campaigns that violate the rules of these services.
Cloaking can be used to hide content from:
- Advertisers. They won’t be able to see traffic from banned sources;
- CPA networks. To bypass affiliate monitoring systems.
- SPY-services. So outsiders will not be able to get access to your creatives or interesting tricks in terms of content;
- Competitor webmasters. Hiding a tested profitable bundle.
Quite a few situations where the use of cloaking will be relevant. At the same time, if you decide to use this tool, then be prepared for a possible negative reaction from the services within you launched your advertising campaign.
Cloaking consists of 3 components:
- Safe page (or white page). This is a safe page with neutral content that fully complies with the site’s rules.
- Money page (or black page). A page with a real product, service, or redirect to an affiliate link.
- Cloaking software (tracker or cloaking service). In this role can be a tracker that is divided by a number of rules into 2 streams.
The main purpose of this system is to remove as many bots and moderators from the process as possible, as a result of which only real potential buyers will get to the target web page, which will lead to unique traffic.
In cloaking, the main problem is identifying moderators and bots. But smart algorithms identify visitors accurately. If the system determines that a bot or a user from another country wants to visit the page, a defense mechanism will be triggered. Instead of prohibited content, the user will see “white” information. Users are identified by User-agent and IP-address. The script checks the visitor’s User-Agent and, if it finds a match in the database, shows a “white” page. IP-address is also checked to exclude access of foreign visitors, if advertising is set up for a particular country.
What kind of services are there?
There are two main groups of services: separate software and trackers.
Separate software are programs that can analyze users and change content for each of them. They allow you to create different versions of the page depending on the characteristics of the visitor.
Trackers, in turn, are systems for tracking traffic with wider functionality. They can be cloud-based, that is, provided as an online service, or boxed, when they need to be installed on your own server. Such trackers allow not only analyzing users, but also tracking their actions, managing advertising campaigns and other marketing operations.
Popular services that you should pay attention to:
PeerClick is a service with powerful features that include creating offers, advertising campaigns and adding traffic sources. One of the features of PeerClick is the use of SmartFlow technology, which allows you to work with large amounts of data. The service works in a cloud environment and supports lots of languages. Although it is paid, you can use the demo version or go through a trial period. After registration, you will get access to the full functionality of the service.
Advertising networks – Facebook*, Yandex, MT, TikTok and others
Price – from 30 dollars
Type – Cloud
Trial period – none
It has filters and the algorithms are powered by machine learning. Cloak It is cloud-based and has a very simple and clear interface, which makes it attractive for beginners. The main advantages include the presence of three available tariffs, work with vpn and proxies, you can work with FB and Google, and A/B testing is allowed. The service reliably protects against traffic loss.
Advertising networks – most popular ones
Price – from 2,500 ₽ per month
Type – cloud and boxed
Trial period – available, indefinitely
CPA Tracker is a popular tracker for collecting detailed statistics. Functionality for analytics and cloaking, they have their own bot database and filters for screening. For free, you can only use the boxed solution (limited to 10,000 conversions/day). Paid – online version.
Advertising networks – Google Ads, Facebook* Ads and others
Price – from $249 per month
Type – cloud
Trial period – 7 days
Zeustrak is a feature-rich tracker that also provides cloaking capabilities. Its database contains large amounts of IP addresses of bots, moderators and suspicious users. It supports redirect-free cloaking, which allows you to create different versions of the page for different visitors.
With Zeustrak, you can manage lendings, creating them on the WordPress platform or using its own reverse-proxy-on-steroids technology. Integration with website builders is also possible. Cloaca is specially designed to handle large volumes of traffic and can be integrated with other services via API.
Ad networks – Facebook*, Google, TikTok and other services
Price – 300 dollars basic plan
Adspect can be used to hide manual link checks in and antivirus bots. Large database (1.6 billion) of IPv4 addresses and several tens of thousands of IPv6 networks. You can set your own rules for links and distribute traffic between affiliate networks.
- Built-in JS fingerprinting and machine learning to analyze fingerprints.
- The work is fully automated.
- Redirect-free cloaking with PHP or JS support.
- Support for CloudFlare and other CDN services in proxy mode
- White-page generators, ability to copy sites.
- Timer-based link rotation.
- A/V testing.
Advertising networks – Facebook*, Instagram*, Google Ads
Price – from 25 euros
Type – boxed
Trial period – 7 days
Keitaro is one of the most popular trackers with cloaking functionality. Traffic in it is distributed without domain changes and redirects. Inside the service you can create landing pages.The service has its own database of bots. For each transition to the site, it will provide detailed statistics on more than 30 parameters.
Advertising networks – Facebook*, Google Ads, VKontakte, Pinterest and others
Cost – from $20/day/$500/month
Type – cloud-based
Trial period – 7 days
FairLab is one of the most expensive and effective cloaca on the market. The service runs on a trained neural network. It makes the probability of a ban in the advertising network minimal, because it evaluates each transition by more than 25 parameters. The algorithm calculates a bot or moderator, even if they have enabled a VPN or used a proxy, they will be spotted.
Helps you launch campaigns to “gray” offerers on Google and Facebook*. Supports IPv6 as well as PHP/JS redirects for Tilda and Shopify. Hide Click is compatible with trackers and WordPress.
Free unlimited test period for 3 days, after that it’s $145/month. The exact price depends on the volume of clicks that will go through the system:
Basic – $129 for 32500 clicks per month or 15000 clicks for $229.
Maximum rate – $599 for 750,000 clicks per day or 599,000 clicks for 30 days.
Advertising networks – Facebook*, Yandex.Direct, Google Ads
Price – 320 dollars, demo version available.
Kloake has been around for over three years and is chosen by over 1800 webmasters.
“IM KLO” has its own database of bots for all GEOs with monthly updates. Traffic filtering is available, where you specify the parameters by which cloaka will screen out not only bots and moderators, but also suspicious users.
There are several ways to connect sites, including redirects, subloading with proxying and JS connection. The service also offers the ability to customize it to your needs using an open API.
Just Cloak It
A cool service for getting mostly targeted traffic is Just Cloak It. With its help you will be able to attract much more people who are interested in the product you are promoting. The service reliably protects your ads from bots, users from non targeted audience, unwanted transitions and moderators. The main advantages of the service include:
- Quick installation.
- 7 days free test period.
- Ability to perform A/B-testing, as well as comparison of GEO, traffic from PCs and mobile devices.
- Blocking of questionable IP addresses.
- Filtering of competitors, moderators and bots.
- Regular updating of databases.
In general, all of these platforms are well suited for cloaking. We recommend that you definitely explore the possibility of using them.
So, in the article we have dealt with the topic of cloaking in CPA-marketing, namely the principle of work, goals, advantages and considered the most popular services for working with such an affiliate tool. Beginners and experienced webmasters should pay attention and test cloaking in their work. This tool will definitely be useful in your arsenal. We wish you good luck and good cloaking practice!
* Meta Platforms Inc. is recognized as an extremist organization in the Russian Federation.