We’re Adverse to Adverts
One of the downsides of reading IT reviews on the Web is the proliferation of advertisements. Sometimes they jump out at you, obscuring what you’re trying to read. At other times there’s a dismal trail of click-bait pictures between you and the next page you want to get to. These things are a distraction.
Tested Technology doesn’t think this is a good look. At the risk of being accused of virtue signalling, Tested Technology is primarily here to inform. We don’t make money. We do, thanks to the generosity of manufacturers, from time to time gather in useful hardware, software and services, which will often serve as benchmarks against which we judge subsequent products. Even so, we will try always to let you know about these donations and will write about them at arms-length. The work we do here is on behalf of our readers, not the manufacturers.
Which brings us to the tricky issue of what are called “affiliate links”. It’s regular practice for review pages like ours to point readers to sites where the reviewed products can be purchased. This is something Tested Technology does too. Typically the links we use will be to Amazon, chiefly because Amazon usually offers the best prices and the speediest delivery.
These links we use are not “affiliate links”. An affiliate link is a specially coded link that allows the site to be rewarded with each sale, perhaps also offering the reader a discount. Typically an affiliate link with a reader discount of 10% might be paying the associated Website as much as 15% of the sale price.
We’ve been invited to follow this very common practice. But at the same time as making a good price available to the reader, that affiliate link is also at risk of turning the review into a sales pitch. Tested Technology has been known on occasion to be quite genuinely enthusiastic about some of the products it reviews. It would be a shame if readers had grounds for thinking this enthusiasm were tainted by cashback.
So far we’ve been able to avoid affiliate links and will continue to do so. If times get tough this is something that Tested Technology may have to reconsider. But we’ll always keep you informed if we do.
Chris Bidmead: 2018/08/07