What is URL Masking and Why is Different from Link Cloaking
This means that the visitors to the domain name will be forwarded to your destination website, however the URL in their browser address bar will remain the same. Also known as Stealth Redirection or URL Hiding, this will ensure that your visitors see the original domain name and not the destination URL.
How does URL Masking work?
In case of URL Masking the Domain Forwarding server sends the client a Frames page where the Frame Source contains the destination URL you have specified. This ensures that the URL in the address bar of the browser does not change though the client sees the destination page.
Why Sometimes Masking my URL is Useful?
Hiding a URL or a domain name can be useful in many cases, the following are a couple of examples:
Mask Affiliate Links, Track the Clicks and the Conversions
As Web surfers become more knowledgeable of how affiliate programs work, more people will omit your affiliate ID or use someone else’s ID when ordering. Either way, you may lose commissions you’re supposed to get. Using full window frame page is probably the most effective (though not perfect) way to prevent such loss. In fact, practically all of affiliate link cloaking software uses this method. The address bar won’t display your affiliate URL unless the affiliate site has a frame breaker (e.g.: Gmail). If visitors book mark, they will come back to your frame page. This means they use your affiliate ID every time.
Note: this feature will not work for the (very few) websites (e.g. Gmail) that has a “frame-breaker” and for the browsers that does not support frames or where the “no-frame” option has been activated from the user. In these cases the tracking-link will work as you did not selected this option
Mask/Hide your Long Domain and Track the Clicks
Sometimes your domain is too long and complicate to spell and/or write. Or you are using something like a free hosting that do not give you a dedicated domain but just a sub-directory of their domain. Using a shorter, more understandable and pretty domain is a big boost to your online marketing.
Although masking your url address can be very effective for your marketing, in the most of the cases it is not necessary and disturbs the normal navigation of the user. So be sure to use url masking only when it’s really necessary.
URL Masking doesn’t mean Link Cloaking.
Cloaking is in fact a search engine optimization (SEO) technique in which the content presented to the search engine spider is different from that presented to the user’s browser. This is done by delivering content based on the IP addresses or the User-Agent HTTP header of the user requesting the page. When a user is identified as a search engine spider, a server-side script delivers a different version of the web page, one that contains content not present on the visible page, or that is present but not searchable. The purpose of cloaking is sometimes to deceive search engines so they display the page when it would not otherwise be displayed (black hat SEO). Beware from using this methods. Many of the major search engines normally delete your page or even your entire website from their databases if they are “cheated” with this technique.
With link masking you will not have the same problem, in fact the page that the user see is the same the search engine spider see and vice versa.