Hot Linkers Suck Are Your Links Being HiJacked?

Yes! Hot linkers suck. They copy your links to your download pages, zip files and eBooks and give them away as a courtesy to their visitors. One of my oldest domains had been dedicated to giveaway information and download-able files, software, zip files, eBooks and the like for many years now. And it has been a hot bed for hot linking thieves.

Hot linking is when a domain owner offers free or paid products but doesn’t host the aucual files themselves. To save web space or time and energy they link directly to your download page or directly to the zip files on your site. It saves them a purchase and makes them look cool to be offering all these free downloads.

There are others out there that like to share your download page or zip files with their buddies. There are special forums and member sites online created  just to share and pass links to other peoples products, especially paid products. They share log-ins and passwords also.

I have an incredible stat station that allows me to detect and then direct me to pages on sites that are ‘hot linkin’ my files. Over the years I have been diligently saving these links to my favorites in a folder called HotLinkScumSuckers. You wouldn’t believe the so called ‘internet marketers’  (term used lightly in this case) who hot link! Some of the best know giveaway participants and digital product sellers hot link. 

Why do I keep this list? I don’t know. I first realized someone was hot linking years ago when I was doing giveaways. I had something like 40 signups for an eBook but noticed I had over 700 downloads. When I first noticed the hot linking I was MAD!! I emailed the ‘hot linker’ (believe me, it would shock you if I told you who) and asked him KINDLY to remove the link. No answer… hot link still there. Another email. Again Nothing! Not even a screw you. So I got creative. Call it a simple Pissed Off revenge. Call it a girl thing. Call it what ever you want. But….

Stealing? you bet! Webmasters and domain owners pay for the space to host these downloads and zip files. Not to mention the time and effort of creating the sales / squeeze page, download page, uploading the files, promotion, ect…. When someone steals your stuff, online or not, it’s still wrong. You could purchase expensive software to stop this or you can do other things, sneaky things.

What sort of sneaky things? Well for one, when hot linkers are linking directly to your zip files you can move the zip files to another folder and then relink your download pages. Then when someone clicks on the hot linked zip file they will be directed to your home page or 401 error page. But not your zip files. Or if they are hot linking to your download page you can move your download page and set up a dummy download page or redirect page to an affiliate offer, something related or something silly like PMS relief. Alot of trouble but worth the satisfaction.

Another sneaky thing I did was move the zip file to another location and then ‘recreate’ the zip file with an index file that redirects the downloader to an affiliate product. I get such a chuckle when I make an affiliate sale on something that I had set up for one of those redirects.  he he (evil little chuckle)

Another thing  to do is use a completely unrelated eBook and pack it with your affiliate links. Who knows what the innocent down loader is thinking when he is expecting one thing and getting something completely different. 

Think he may lose a little trust in the hot linking website owner? 

How about this one? Ignore the hot linker and happily give away the original download and stuff it full of links back to your domain. I mean it IS web promotion right?

Here’s my favorite: Leave the unknowing down loader nothing but a text note in the zip file. One that reads something like… Thanks for down loading my product. The link you just downloaded this from is from a hot linker. He steals other peoples work and passes it off as his own. If you would like to download this freebie please do so here- and then I include a link to my sign up page. Presto! I get the sign up and the next potential sale. Sometimes they (the hot linkers) find out – sometimes they don’t.  he he

How about when they hotlink your entire sales page, images, words, special effects… everything except your payment link which of course goes to their PayPal or what ever payment processor they use. So when you delete, rename or move the files,  they’re left with nothing but a sales page with big ole blank pictures.  Like this. he he

And nothing to download if they WOULD happen to make a sale, he he. 

So hot linkers, suck it up and just host your own damn files and quit stealing. We are on to you and ready to fight back! he he 

I can just imagine what is going to happen when I delete ALL the files. he he

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