Review of Skimlinks
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Disclaimer: This review was compiled in June 2012, but this is the
internet and things change quickly (so this information is provided without
Skimlinks Quick Facts:
Skimlinks is an ad network that provides affiliate linking methods and affiliate advertisements from over 17,000 online merchants including Amazon, eBay, Target, BestBuy, Zappos and many more. Skimlinks is one of over a hundred such programs we review on experienced-people.co.uk.
They offer three different marketing products SkimLinks, SkimWords and EveryFeed. SkimLinks are affiliate text links that are cleverly masked to look exactly like ordinary links. SkimWords are in-text ads that are dynamically generated on specific product references and are again, automatically affiliated on-click. EveryFeed ads are product feeds with natural merchant URLs that nonetheless yield affiliate sales for the publisher via redirection through SkimLink’s network.
Generally, all their ads turn normal product links and product references into their equivalent affiliate links unbeknownst to visitors. The whole process works behind the scenes and visitors cannot see where they are really going unless they employ certain tricks SkimLinks suggests publishers to use in order to tell if SkimLinks are working on their sites; yes the true nature of the ads is really well concealed!
However, the above might not resonate well with many publishers who strive to be honest and straightforward with their visitors as the whole strategy of SkimLinks can arguably be described as deceptive towards the public.
SkimLinks encourages publishers to disclose to their users and comply with the FTC regulations. Sadly, their disclosure terms turn out to be nothing more than self-promotion and yet another means to get more referrals to join the program with “disclosure badges” and links that earn the publisher even more commissions.
The program is very serious about keeping the true nature of their ads from the public. Their terms of service include requirements for server response and redirect times in order to prevent visitors from seeing the actual redirection taking place!
Overall, SkimLinks employs an interesting strategy to promote and sell affiliate products through their ads; a strategy that unfortunately relies most heavily on deception and maintaining a sense of false security for visitors, encouraging them to click on links that look “clean” but are in fact promotional affiliate links. If you can stomach doing that to your visitors, then maybe SkimLinks can be a viable monetization option for your sites. Read about other monetizing programs at experienced-people.co.uk/1200-make-money-from-websites/ and you can leave your own comments and feedback about Skimlinks at our Skimlinks forum thread.
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