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The other Amazon: How Skimlinks works with the ecommerce giant's affiliate program

Posted 1 week ago by Angus

To some it’s the longest river in the world, to others it’s the biggest ecommerce company in the world and to our publishers, we know that Amazon is a major partner and key to their affiliate revenue-earning activities. So it’s no surprise it’s a common support topic too: whether it’s people asking how we work together, or what happens to existing Amazon links when our Javascript is installed, our relationship with Amazon crops up again and again. So we thought it’d be a good idea to address all things Amazon here and now.

Can I use Amazon Associates and Skimlinks?

Yep yep yep.

Oh! How does that work? Do you overwrite my links?

Not automatically.

In fact, Skimlinks won’t overwrite any existing affiliate links you had on your site. Our Javascript will only rewrite unadulterated merchant links without affiliate tags.

That means nothing will happen to existing affiliate links – Amazon or otherwise – once you implement the script and set it live on your site.

You said “not automatically”, what does that mean?

In the event you do want to overwrite Amazon US links, we do have an Amazon Overwrite which will only with your express permission and run existing Amazon links through Skimlinks. This means we track that data back to your Skiminks account.

In this system, Amazon operates like any other merchant in our network, rather than a separate entity altogether.

And what happens if I don’t switch that on?

Nada. In a small number of cases (and we mean small), some links may show as redirecting through Skimlinks, but this does not mean we are overwriting them or monetizing them.

It’s just for tracking purposes. These links will appear to us as “Unaffiliated”. We respect your pre-existing relationships and will make no effort to compromise them.

Amazon aside, what if I want to exclude merchant links or domains from the Javascript?

So obviously our preference would be that you’d run all your affiliate links through Skimlinks: it means all your reporting lives in the same place and we can provide you with the most granular insights possible to inform your affiliate strategy.

But we also understand there can be times where for whatever reason you want to exclude certain links from our Javascript code and there’s a couple of ways you can do this:

The easiest is to disguise the URL using a URL shortener like bit.ly which our code won’t recognize and will not affiliate.

Alternatively, you can actually code the exception yourself and we have more information on how to do that here.

Lastly, there is also the option of blacklisting yourself from certain merchant programs. We can allow this and it will remove you from the merchant program in question, but that will prohibit you from using that merchant program anywhere on site. If that’s something you’d like, you can submit a ticket for it here.

So that in a nutshell is how Skimlinks and Amazon US work together. You can use both services, or you can run everything through Skimlinks and receive consolidated reporting to boot. If you want to find out more about affiliate links, overwrites and all things that way inclined, head to this support page where you can find more information out.

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