Viglink Review

Viglink reviewed over our recent trial period to see how well it converts. Note this Viglink review also compares Viglink to Skimlinks because we now have data for both.

The key point against Viglink is it has no clearly accessible merchant list and no indepth reporting systems.  Key point FOR VIGLINK is it earned over double the revenue of Skimlinks over the trial period!

Click here to see the new Viglinks homepage.

Viglink background and recap: Viglink founder and CEO is MIT and Harvard AI pro Oliver Roup, CTO is Christian Romming.  ’11 series B raised $5.4 million leading to a $7 mil total, approximately matching Skimlinks investment to date as of end ’11 according to the Viglinks Crunchbase article.  The general online consensus is Viglinks is slightly behind in terms of functionality from Skimlinks at this point in time.  Particularly in areas of reporting and serious questions as to why Viglinks lacks a viewable merchant list with commission transparency.

The Viglink address is 420 Bryant Street, San Francisco, CA 94107 United States according to their online Linkdin profile.

Reasons to install Viglink

  • Viglink affiliate commission is set at 30% commission on the entire first year affiliate earnings of referred users.  30% is huge in comparison to the Skimlinks 10%-12%.
  • According to Viglink representative Whitney (See her Skimlinks article comments here), Viglinks is backed by Google Ventures (Rich Miner managing).  Google Ventures also houses ex Digg 60 million poster boy Kevin “V4″ Rose following his departure from Milk.com earlier this year, so you know Viglink will pay out.
  • Viglink seems to have a slightly higher CTR than Skimlinks across the 4 sites and 4 accounts we use for testing.  Although this result was statistically insignificant due to the variety of content types tested and variability of pages.
  • Because of the higher CTR, Viglink earned a higher revenue CPM of almost double the Skimlinks CPM.

Viglink vs. Skimlinks

  • Viglink has fewer options in their publisher control panel.  Things like page link density, which Skimlinks offers, is missing as an option.  This means your page can be covered in links if you mention Amazon or Ebay repeatedly.
  • Viglink offers a merchant checker service if you already have a merchant in mind to check.  I could not find a Viglink merchant list anywhere on the site.
  • Merchant Commission rates are NOT shown explicitly anywhere.  This is huge, you don’t know what you’re getting.  Skimlinks offers a “browse Merchants” option once signed up, this Skimlink merchants list shows commission rates clearly displayed.
  • It’s a small point but Viglinks page design is not as good as Skimlinks.  The text is vertically stretched 2x and there’s too much white-space and scrolling.  Viglinks has a busier accounts screen with less scrolling and more options along the top.  This gives the impression that Skimlinks is the lead and Viglink is still playing catchup.
  • Skimlinks offers more reports than Viglinks.
  • Viglink offers a similar javascript script to install as Skimlinks.  and both work essentially the same, replacing certain keywords with commission generating affiliate links.

Viglink Review conclusion

In terms of functionality it’s a thumbs uncertain for Viglinks.  I want to recommend Viglink for providing a juicy referral fee of 30%, but lack of merchant transparency and detailed reporting is hurting them.  Why would an affiliate service not state the commission rates offered?  Yes Viglink aggregates affiliates so you could argue individual commission sare unimportant, but it’s useful when comparing services, for example, Skimlinks to Viglinks.

Viglink does not have a merchants list or show merchant commissions.

Without knowing commission rates for Viglink merchants affiliate links the only way to know who wins in Skimlink vs. Viglink is to split test.  This means more work on the back end to set up the split test and more work tracking it all.

Like with the Skimlinks review, I would strongly recommend trialling Viglink on a  forum or other site with many repeat visitors who trust community representatives.  Alternatively, Skimlinks and Viglink could work great on a product review site of any kind.  Lack of fine tuning of links per page/density options hurts Viglinks.

Both Skimlinks and Viglink essentially handle product shopping comparison and affiliate link localization for you.  Any website owner who has used the Amazon or Ebay direct affiliate programs will know how difficult affiliate link localization is to get right.  European visitors clicking on US Amazon ads and earning no revenue is a thorn in all Blog and Forum owners sides.

Both services (Viglink and Skimlinks) seem to have their individual pros and cons and in the end it’s all about revenue generation so you can do what you do best.  For that reason, Skimlinks vs Viglink is a draw.  Try them both, see which generates the most revenue and go with the highest earner, it’s the only way to tell which script is best for your individual use case.

Link to Skimlinks:

Skimlinks or Viglinks? – no clear winner, try both, track, split test, profit.

Late Edit: We continue using Viglink over skimlinks on Nerdr.com.  The primary reason is Viglink convert more text into links than Skimlinks do and have a higher CTR and higher earning per mille (EPM) during our Viglink test period.


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3 Responses to Viglink Review

  1. Hi There Nerdr,

    First of all, thanks very much for taking the time to split test VigLink vs. Skimlinks. We’re so pleased to hear about your earnings!

    Wanted to address a couple things in your review here:

    Regarding a transparent merchant list with associated commissions, we’re working hard on being able to provide this to our entire user base. It’s top of mind for us, and we completely understand why it’s important to our users. Good news: it should be available shortly!

    Are there additional reports/reporting functionality you would like to see available? Which reports in particular? This is also something we’re likely to focus on in the immediate future.

    We’ve got a brand new marketing team (http://www.Viglink.Com/?Vgref=115499) in place as of about 6 weeks ago, and we’re already hard at work redesigning a simpler, more user-friendly website.

    Finally, if link density is an issue, you can email supportATviglinkDOTcom to adjust/increase density for a particular page.

    Again, we’re pleased you’ve found success with VigLink, and, as always, feel free to reach out at any time with questions/concerns. Your feedback is very much appreciated!

    Cheers,
    Whitney.

    • Whitney! Looking forward to that merchant list. For additional reports I’d suggest taking a look at Skimlinks reporting functionality, it covered all the core requirements during the test period and is pretty thorough. More metrics are always a plus.

      I’d suggest making link density a menu option rather than requiring an email to support. For tweaking link density and other link features, the more options that can be A/B tested quickly the better, especially as Viglink and Skimlinks are not yet context aware/self optimizing.

      It’s proving itself as a great monetization method, second only to Adsense. Glad we tried it! Viglinks.

      Nerdr.

  2. Hi Nerdr,

    Meghan from Skimlinks here; I wanted to drop you and your readers a note to fill them in on some of the highlights of our service and why we are the #1 choice for automated affiliate monetization.

    Check out The Skimlinks Advantage: httpCOLON//blog.SkimlinksDOTcom/2012/10/24/the-skimlinks-advantage/

    We have zero downtime, and support staff in London and California so we can help you with your site round the clock. We also have a product called SkimWords that can find product references in text and create affiliate links on them (more found money!)

    Have a great day!
    -Meghan at Skimlinks.