Affiliate links. Why do we hate them? Why is it so important NOT to click them? As a guy who have practically lived on the net the last 5-6 years or so I have seen the use of affiliate links grown, and the last year I have seen the value of it. But why is it that I don’t like clicking on them myself? I find myself often striping an affiliate link, leaving only the base url. Why is that?
Alright, lots of question to start with here. I will try to answer them myself, and give my opinion, and hopefully you will share yours in the comment section.
Why don’t I click affiliate links?
This is a phenomenon I have realized I had the last year. Very often when I find a good product or site I want to check out and it’s a affiliate link pointing to it I strip the link. I don’t know why actually. Maybe it’s habit. I don’t know. I think it got something to do with is the fact that
“I don’t want anyone else to make a buck of me, and my work“.
So, what am I doing with such a attitude? Well, I’m giving the company which sells the product or running the site more money. (Since they don’t have to pay the affiliate) I also don’t appreciate the work the affiliate has done with recommending the site or product to me. Leaving him or her with nothing, and might don’t think the work she or he does is worth it, and stops. Which means to me that I might don’t get recommended a great product or site which I could have big use for. And all this for what? Greed?
But regular users don’t know the different?
I think that regular surfers (aka non-webmasters) don’t know the different between affiliate links and normal links. As long as they get to the right site or product they are happy. So if you are running a site for this market you normally don’t have anything to worry about, but if you run a site for a market which knows about affiliate links you got something to worry about, because people do strip the URLs. People are greedy. Leaving you with no money for your effort.
What to do with the market?
I think it’s time to change the attitude of webmasters. I think it’s already have started, since people do see the importance of affiliate links, but I still think it’s a long way to go. What you can do in the meanwhile is:
Firstly, change your attitude, set yourself in the affiliate link owners position. Would you be happy if someone used your affiliate link?
Second; hide your affiliate links. 😉 This can be done easy with redirects. I see sub domains being used, short URL services and other products. What I’m going to do is to write a post with tips for you who uses affiliate links. Remember to subscribe to to my blog if you aren’t already.
What I want with this post is to get a discussion going. What do you think about affiliate links?