Since I started this blog, I have been putting (aff) after every link that are affiliate links. I did this not for disclosure, but because I thought that was the proper blogging etiquette. However, today I read a post from Net Business Blog questioning whether the (aff) is needed.
I’ve heard a lot of mixed opinion on the question of affiliate link disclosure. What I’m talking about here is what should a blogger do to inform the reader that a link they post on their page is an affiliate link rather than your normal run of the mill hyperlink? Many of the blogs I read put a little (aff) next to their affiliate links – (aff) meaning affiliate link. Does this count as disclosure? And possibly an even better question, is affiliate link disclosure even needed especially in this form?
I actually have received emails from readers asking what (aff) means. This does bring up the question of whether using (aff) is the best method of disclosing an affiliate link. There is also the question of whether disclosure is even needed. At the The TechZone Hot Deals page, we don’t tell anyone that every single link on that page is an affiliate link. Yet, no one seems to care (I think they’re more interested in the money we’re saving them).
John Chow dot Com is a blog about making money on the Internet and as such, it should be reasonable for readers to expect that there will be affiliate links. So my question to you – do you care/want/feel/need affiliate links to be tagged with (aff)? Personally, I rather not have it because it looks ugly and spoils the flow of an article. It’s also pretty easy to tell when a link is an affiliate link and some would say having (aff) next to it just insults the reader’s intelligences. What do you think?