DirectLinks explained for SimplyCast partners
DirectLinks is an advanced feature of the SimplyCast Affiliate Network that allows you to link directly to our site without additional parameters in the URL.
So for example, instead of: https://www(dot)website(dot)com/?b_aid=78965&a_bid=65432 you can use only: https://www(dot)website(dot)com
This kind of linking has several advantages:
First, visitors won't know they are clicking on an affiliate link. Many web users are not so keen on clicking links they recognize as an affiliate link. If you have affiliate links in your blog or website, visitors can easily tell that you will earn commissions if they buy that product. This can sway their opinion of your blog or review and make you seem less credible and more about making money.
If, however, you use DirectLinks, nobody will know you are promoting SimplyCast products for a commission. They will judge your work as someone just providing valuable information on a product you like.
Secondly, some visitors will see an affiliate link and remove your affiliate parameters (or tracking code). There are many people who don't like to purchase through affiliate links, even if there is no disadvantage for them. Such people will copy the URL to their browser and remove the affiliate parameters that are on the end of the URL. Without those parameters, there is no way to tie that click to your account. You can protect yourself against this using an affiliate link cloaker, but if you use DirectLinks, you don't need to worry about anyone taking your URL apart.
How DirectLinking works
Any visitor who is referred through a DirectLink is recognized by the HTTP_REFERER information sent by the browser. It is the address of the page (if any) which referred the browser to the destination page. In short, when any visitor clicks on a link on your page, the HTTP_REFERER will be the address of your page.
Our software will then check this page in our database, finds that the page belongs to you, and assigns you the referral (and click).
This method is dependent on the web browser. All the modern browsers send this information and with the advantages mentioned below, you can use it as your main linking method.
How to use DirectLinking
To use DirectLinking, you have to set up your DirectLink URLs. These are URL addresses of your own web pages. It is where you place your affiliate links or banners. You can define them in the Banners & Links section.
All URLs have to be manually reviewed and approved by our affiliate manager before they will work. Don't worry, we are pretty fast at approving them, so it should not hold you up in any way.
Once the URL is approved, every link to our site (even without affiliate parameters) from that page will be treated as a referral.
Make sense? For those who have full control over there website, it can be a nice little feature to try. For those still new and are not ready to use DirectLinks, the old-fashioned way of just adding your exact affiliate URL should do the trick as well.
You can also use Tiny URL shorteners like SimplyCast's link tracking service. This in effect cloaks your affiliate URL until someone clicks and the information is passed into our system.
Have a question about direct linking? Our affiliate team is only a phone call away.