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Thread: VigLink.com?

  1. #1
    slux Guest

    Default VigLink.com?

    Has anyone heard of/used viglink.com? I was looking for new mods for my forum and came across theirs. Seems like a very neat and convenient way to make money, but I would like to know more if anyone has experience with it. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    774

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    I'm a bit surprised that this hasn't come up here earlier, but in any event: I've been with them for about a year, and there are a lot of things that can be said about it. To be honest, I'm still on the fence. For those that have never heard anything about it, I would recommend a couple of good articles I read recently that discusses what it is and some of the questions surrounding it - be sure to read through the comments as well, as they provide some valuable points..
    http://www.sugarrae.com/affiliate-ma...o-oliver-roup/
    http://www.sugarrae.com/seo-sphere/g...ed-paid-links/

    Now, you mentioned that you discovered it as a mod to your forum. This is one of the areas where I think it might be useful. Especially if you have a forum where people frequently link to and talk about products. As an example, say you have a forum about books, movies, or music. If people tend to link to products at say Amazon, you could automatically affiliate those links and earn a commission from any sale by pasting a small piece of code to your template. This essentially goes for any site with user generated content.

    The other area where I think it might be useful, is for blogs or websites that don't necessarily cater to a specific niche. One day you'd talk about a book, the next day about a movie, then about some gardening stuff you bought at Walmart etc. Viglink would automatically affiliate those links, and if people click through and buy something, you get a commission.

    Finally, I think it's a viable option for people who couldn't be bothered at all by signing up for affiliate programs, but just like to write and produce content. The great thing about it is that it is even simpler than AdSense, because you just paste a small JS code into your HTML, and it will automatically affiliate any links that point to sites with affiliate programs (at least in most cases), and you don't have to worry about monetization at all.

    I not quite sure that it's a great option for seasoned affiliate marketers, though, and I'll share some of my personal stats to explain why. I've been testing it for a while, and my stats tells me that about 27% of the clicks made through a Viglink affiliated link is not affiliated. These numbers are for Q1 2011, and should be fairly reliable.

    As far as I can tell, this is due to three factors: 1) JavaScript has to be enabled in order for it to work (that eliminates on average 10% of web users and people with ad/script blockers), but is no different from say AdSense 2) It only works when you left click a link, not when you right-click and open in a new tab, and 3) There have been some issues where some browsers do not properly register clicks. (Although to their credit, they fix these issues when they are raised).

    These findings tells me at least, that it might not be the best thing for a seasoned affiliate marketer. As an example, if Lisa drove her affiliate clicks from Site Sell It! and something expensive like Adobe products through Viglink - losing 27% would potentially be disastrous. There is a way to get around that though, by overwriting existing affiliate links, and keeping the old affiliate link as a fall back..

    There's more that can be said on the subject, but I would sum up pros and cons in my view thus far like this:

    Pros:
    • Very easy to implement
    • Consolidates earnings from different affiliate networks, as in you wouldn't have to sign up for 100 affiliate programs - just the one, and have all stats in one place.
    • Earnings paid out on a monthly basis through PayPal. Some affiliates only pay by check for non US affiliates, which makes the way VigLink consolidates and pays out directly to your bank account pretty sweet.

    Cons:
    • 27% of earnings lost (per my stats) if you don't back up your links, which essentially eliminates some of the advantages of using it.
    • More vulnerable to hacking? I'm seeing this a potential problem. If someone were able to hack your site, they'd just have to change the VigLink key and they would get all commisions, and so one would have to keep a close eye on stats to prevent that.

    There's a lot more to be said about it. I've tested it extensively, but have currently removed it from my test sites as I'm still on the fence. If there's anything else, be sure to ask specific questions and I'll be happy to reply if I can. And please, if anyone else has any experience with it, I'd be very interested in hearing your take on it.

  3. #3
    slux Guest

    Default

    Hi Viking-thanks for such a thorough response! It took me a while to get through all the information, but it's exactly what I was looking for and those posts are VERY informative and the second is particularly intriguing. After reading everything, here are some thoughts:

    1. In reading the interview, I realized VigLink is a much more thorough option than I would have ever imagined. Things are accounted for that I would have never anticipated. For that, I'm impressive because it makes VigLink a very viable "middle man".

    2. The second article made me wonder what kind of impact VigLink really has on Google rankings. I understand why Google would penalize a site for getting paid to backlink, but VigLink is nothing more than simplified affiliate marketing. There's literally no revenue unless someone makes a purchase on the other end, so if nobody is getting paid off, nobody should be penalized. Of course, I would guess that's Google's thinking since they are also buying into the system. Therefore, my guess is VigLink shouldn't have a negative impact on rankings.

    3. I completely agree with what you said about the niches it would be useful, especially if you have a high-volume forum in one of those niches. I, however, have a sports related forum, but I don't have a strict links policy. Therefore, I could see VigLink turning into a passive income down the road as posts accumulate and people talk about various sports-related tools and software. It's wishful thinking, but it's almost too easy not to do.

    4. The 27% unaffiliated stat you mention is very interesting to me. I suppose 10% is a lost cause, but that number should decrease with time anyways. The second problem is particularly interesting because I right-click on basically any external link anymore. I'm sure I'm in the minority there, but still, obviously that makes up a significant portion.

    The question I have now is what kind of effect, if any, the script has on performance? Right now, as I see it, I don't know if there's a reason not to have it. For example, 27% lost earning is disappointing, but that's 73% earnings that I would have otherwise not had.

    Thanks again for the extensive response. I'm very curious now!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    On your 2nd point: I guess only Google knows this. One would assume that they wouldn't invest in a company that is contrary to their stated goal, but then again there might be conflicting interests between say Google Search and Google AdSense. We've seen some strange things happen recently. While we used to get optimization emails from AS suggesting that we put the max number of allowed ad blocks on a page (three), they now state in the guidelines that a page shouldn't be too cluttered with ads, as well as the suggested ad vs. content ratio above the fold etc. For what it's worth, I haven't noticed any set back in the search engines after using Viglink, but who knows.

    On your #4: I also almost always use right-click to open links, which is how it caught my attention in the first place. Perhaps we are in a minority, I have no idea. My stats would suggest that right-clickers amount up to about 17% (minus the ones that are due to browser issues). Why do you think that the 10% caused by no JS enabled would decrease over time? (Perhaps besides the point here, but I'm curious to know your thinking..)

    On the performance issue, I don't really see any big downside here. I'm somewhat of a perfectionist when it comes to testing my sites' load speed, and I wouldn't consider that an important issue considering what you potentially get out of it.

    I agree on your point about gaining revenue from the 73% of users that you otherwise wouldn't have. It's very easy to implement, and very easy to remove as well, so I guess there's no harm in trying it out. I don't know if you're aware, but they have a service on their site that crawls your site for links that could potentially be affiliated. Should give some indication of what the potential is.

    If you do go ahead and try it out, I'd be interested in hearing how it performs for you, as well as any other experience you have with it, as I've been watching this for a while.

  5. #5
    slux Guest

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    Hi Viking,

    Thanks again for the in-depth response! Based on all the information you've provided and I've gathered otherwise, I think I'm going to give it a shot. One more question though that you could perhaps help with. Does VigLink get applied to AdSense ads as well? So if someone clicks on an Amazon ad via AdSense on my site, then signs up for one of their programs, do I get a cut? Granted, it sounds greedy since I would essentially be getting paid twice, but at the same rate, I'm interested to know if VigLink, indeed, does work that way.

    As for the Javascript, I think it's more of an expectation instead of a feature nowadays, so those that don't have it or have it disabled, would only decrease over time. Obviously I have no information to back that point, but it stands to reason, in my opinion.

    Anyways, hopefully I can add the program to my site soon, but since I have limited traffic, I don't expect to have legitimate data for a couple months. Very excited to see how it plays out and report back though!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
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    Viking and slux - Thanks for posting this thread and sharing such valuable information. I can see how VigLink can work in some cases. I only made about .73 cents (or was that .37 cents) over a period of 6 months. It's just not a good fit for my blog. It's good to see others having more success with it. Bravo!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    774

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    Does VigLink get applied to AdSense ads as well?
    I wouldn't think so, no. I can't imagine that Google would accept that. You can run them alongside each other though.

    I only made about .73 cents (or was that .37 cents) over a period of 6 months.
    I guess it wasn't a good fit for your site then, as you mentioned. IMO it would be best suited for sites that link to a lot of products.

    It did work fairly well for me, but I wanted to test it over a period of time to make sure. Now that I know more, I'm still on the fence as I said. In addition to the pros and cons I mentioned above, there is one that I haven't mentioned: What if you build a blog or a forum with hundreds/thousands of pages linking to different products over time. All links are affiliated by VigLink, and you come to rely on the income that those links are generating. What if something happens to the program, and everything stops working? Over night, all income is slashed, as you haven't signed up for any aff programs manually, and you haven't affiliated those links individually. Perhaps it is about the same as using only AdSense to monetize a site and living in fear of being terminated from the program, but it is a big issue imo and something to consider. Again, keeping all eggs in one basket is not a good idea.

  8. #8
    slux Guest

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    Okay, so how about this one...

    I just recently started using CloudFlare again because they've actually improved their service and they offer a lot of significant features for a free service. That said, I went to check my stats and what not, and sure enough they added a feature where they add VigLink for you. All you have to do is hit Yes and register for the service which is extraordinarily easy for a fairly complex system. CloudFlare adds the code for you and you're rollin'.

    I'm not sure if this says more about CloudFlare or VigLink or both, but I did think it was worth sharing.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    IL
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    53

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    I used viglink for a while, but I found the autolink feature really annoying, and my readers probably did as well. A link to a viglink "keyword" would pop up in many of the titles and subtitles (H2/H3) and this would really cheapen the overall feel of the site. I ended up taking the viglink off my site, and I just use affiliate links now to other companies within my niche.

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