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Home / Guides / Cloaking what tasks it solves in traffic arbitrage

Cloaking: what tasks it solves in traffic arbitrage

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calendar 17.04.24
time--v1 7 minutes

Advertising platforms and search engines are actively fighting the use of illegal methods to promote offers. However, this has not prevented webmasters from finding ways to circumvent such restrictions, as these methods usually provide the most revenue. 

To avoid detection and subsequent penalties, the practice of cloaking — methods of hiding the conversion page — is used. The essence is simple: different groups of T.A. are provided with different versions of landing pages. That is, one group sees pages that fall under the rules of various PP and search engines, while the other group is directed to pages with «black» content that shows high conversion rates.

When using cloaking, it is important to overcome the restrictions and requirements imposed by various networks and platforms on advertising content. For example, certain platforms prohibit advertising dietary supplements, or require documents confirming the legal right to sell these products. Such difficulties occur in a variety of niches, and arbitrageurs often use cloaking to circumvent the restrictions set by platforms such as Yandex.Direct or Facebook.

It is important to realize that cloaking is officially banned on all reputable advertising platforms. If the use of cloaking is detected, even after a long time, the advertiser’s account can be blocked, and the web will have frozen payments. Therefore, it is better to try such methods on newly created accounts to minimize risks.

Cloaking in arbitrage

There are two key situations when cloaking is reasonable:

  • If you’re using traffic sources that have been banned by advertiser;
  • If you want to hide profitable promos and creatives from ad grids and competitors to prevent them from being stolen.

Regardless of why you are cloaking, do it as carefully as possible to avoid getting banned.

Cloaking in the field of SEO

Cloaking is also common in search engine optimization.

Black methods began to flourish when traditional methods using links became less profitable. But you should realize that not every substitution in SEO is «black». In some cases, it has «gray» and even «white» connotations. 

With black cloaking, the client sees material that does not match the search query. But there are also types of substitution that even comply with the rules of the largest international companies. These include, for example, Geo-targeting.  When using this method, the client sees the page in the language that corresponds to his location.

How does cloaking work?

To realize the method of cloaking, you need to create 2 copies of the needed site:

  1. In the first copy, place content that will pass robot moderation.
  2. In the second copy place content that will potentially show maximum conversion.

For cloaking to function effectively, the server uses special parameters that determine what content should be shown depending on specific conditions. These parameters are based on two groups of data:

IP address

It’s important for your cloaking to recognize the addresses of the checking bots. This can be tricky because it requires access to IP addresses. Only a small fraction of competitors can handle this cloaking.

User-Agent

For cloaking to be successful, it is important to accurately identify the User-Agent name of the bot. By comparing names with a regular T. A., you’re showing different content on the same page. You should realize that it’s pretty easy to get User-Agent data, so competitors can also uncover your substitution.

In addition, a mixed approach of cloaking is often used, where User-Agent and IP address are used in combination.

Is it worth using trackers for cloaking in arbitrage?

A simple way to implement cloaking in arbitrage is to use specialized trackers. Trackers are programs for monitoring the statistics of work with different ad grids. In addition, they help to distribute traffic to landing pages and affiliate grids.

Some of the most popular trackers in the arbitrage industry are Keitaro and Binom. To understand how to create a cloaking in a tracker, let’s look at an example using the Binom tracker. 

In this case, to set up a cloaking in Binom, set up links to the offer and a splash page. The first page will be seen by all visitors, while the second page will be seen only by moderators or competitors.

See instructions on how to create a cloaking using Binom:

  • Create two web pages: one for normal visitors and one for bots, moderators or other webs.
  • After that, go to Binom and create a new advertising campaign there. In your advertising cabinet, select the «White Page» section and specify the link to the landing page there.
  • Next, you need to create 2 streams, one of which will lead to a blank page for bots, as well as define filters for the selected audience.

Every tracker, including Binom, has built-in systems for filtering such traffic, but don’t forget about additional settings that can also be useful. For example, you can make a list of IP addresses of bots and add them to the blacklist (a white blank page will always be displayed for them).

Other services for creating cloaking

There are a number of platforms on the market that provide the ability to create cloaking literally in a few clicks. Such platforms usually use JavaScript. Of course, you can find both paid and free services.

Paid platforms have a number of advantages:

  • Compile the necessary data automatically;
  • Are able to identify suspicious IP addresses;
  • Automatically display «white» pages of the corresponding T.A.;
  • Offer convenient customizations that noticeably save you time.

In essence, these platforms resemble trackers, but with the additional ability to automatically collect and process databases (without having to enter data manually). Popular platforms of this type include:

  • FraudFilter,
  • Just Cloak It,
  • Peerclick, etc.

Search engines’ stance on cloaking

 It’s no secret that search engines show clear disapproval of cloaking. Therefore, pages that are caught cloaking are subjected to lower rankings in search results.

When search bots detect duplicate content on the site, created by webmasters to quickly raise the resource in the top positions, it can lead to penalties, including blocking or banning.

For example, Yandex can negatively affect the position of the site in the search results, which will lead to a significant decrease in the visibility of the resource and its decline in the rankings. 

Attitude of advertising grids to cloaking

When you run a cloaking in an advertising grid, then get ready that your account can be banned. Every CPA marketing platform negatively evaluates such promotion methods. In most cases, such accounts are subject to blocking without the possibility of recovery. It is important to note that advertising networks are constantly working to improve their mechanisms for detecting cloaking and taking action against users who use unfair methods for promotion.

Free cloaking options 

In most cases, about 99% of services and trackers offer paid options. Only an experienced expert programmer can develop a working and efficient cloaking on his own. Nevertheless, there is a certain trick that allows you to bypass this barrier.

Each service has a free trial period, during which you can evaluate all the possibilities of the chosen platform. In addition, there are also free services. But they, of course, already have very limited functionality, and much will have to be done by manual work. 

With the help of cloaking, you can easily promote the blackest bundle and get the maximum profit. But be careful not to get banned. 

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