Is it possible to manipulate an affiliate link?

Vitali Lutz
263 Words
1:10 Minutes
122
0

Affiliate links can be found on many websites today, because they often represent an existential basis of a website. You can find affiliate links on all successful websites today, whether they are big or small.

Once you find such a link, you wonder if it can be manipulated, and the answer is:

Yes, and very easily!

Let's say we have the following affiliate link provided to Amazon affiliates to promote their products:

https://www.amazon.com/Rich-Dad-Poor-Teach-Middle/dp/1612681131/?tag=lutvit

In the address, you will see the parameter "tag=lutvit" at the end. To manipulate or invalidate this link, we simply remove the mentioned addition and the address would look like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Rich-Dad-Poor-Teach-Middle/dp/1612681131/

So, if you know what an affiliate link looks like, you can easily manipulate it and the affiliate who owns the link would not receive any commission if you click on the link and buy something from Amazon.

Other affiliate links are not particularly difficult to defuse either, as they literally scream to reveal their promotional nature:

https://www.domain.com/?affiliate=xyz
https://www.domain.com/?partner=xyz
https://www.domain.com/?ref=xyz

In many cases, parameters following a "?" in the web address are still used in affiliate links. In this case, you simply remove the parameter that is included in the web address, and the affiliate link is then a normal link that leads to a landing page.

It becomes a bit more difficult if the link is masked, for example, using the TinyURL.com service:

https://tinyurl.com/2ey7vaw8

Since you can't see the affiliate link hidden behind the visible URL, you have to either click on the link to see the destination address or use Google to find the corresponding product.

Vitali Lutz

About Vitali Lutz

Vitali Lutz is a versatile author on all aspects of business and technology. Thanks to his ability to adapt to a wide range of topics and his great thirst for knowledge, he writes about anything that interests him.

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