The Guardian publishes reviews of a variety of products and services. Our selections are unbiased and are made independently by our journalists. Sometimes the Guardian earns a small commission (also known as “affiliate revenue”) when a reader clicks a link in our content and buys a product that we have featured. Any article that contains an affiliate link is clearly labelled.
Our journalism is never influenced by advertisers or commercial teams and is not written for the purpose of promoting a product. For information on content funding please see our guidelines.
What is affiliate revenue?
Affiliate revenue is a small percentage of commission shared between retailers, publishers and affiliate networks that connect them. When a product featured on the Guardian is linked to affiliate revenue, we will always make this clear to readers with a statement at the bottom of the page on our website.
How does it work?
The Guardian works with third-party affiliate aggregators called Skimlinks and Monetizer101, which have a relationship with thousands of retailers and publishers.
When a product is linked from a Guardian article or gallery, Skimlinks automatically places tracking code to the retailer link if the retailer has an affiliate programme. When a reader clicks on an affiliate link, the tracking code places a cookie on the reader’s device that is able to confirm if the reader makes a purchase from the retailer’s website. Skimlinks then attributes a commission from the sale to the Guardian.
Skimlinks works with Monetizer101 to provide the Guardian with dynamic (frequently updated) price comparison tables for products mentioned in some product reviews. Monetizer101 searches a pre-approved list of retailers and presents the lowest prices to readers. These offers will change as retailer prices are updated. The tracking code in each link recognises when a reader clicks on a link in a pricing table, at which point it places a cookie on the reader’s device that is able to confirm if the reader makes a purchase from the retailer’s website. In this instance, Skimlinks and Monetizer101 will together attribute a commission from the sale to the Guardian.
How will reader data be used by Skimlinks?
Skimlinks collects, stores and uses data about:
- the websites that users visit if these contain affiliate links;
- the affiliate links that users click on;
- and whether they make a purchase.
Further information about the cookies Skimlinks uses to collect this information can be found here.
Skimlinks stores users’ IP addresses, in order to determine a user’s approximate location (e.g. country or region). Skimlinks may use this information to provide geographically relevant affiliate links. This data is also used to provide aggregate reporting to the Guardian and the retailer on the location of users visiting sites with affiliate links. Skimlinks also uses IP addresses to reduce fraud and identify non-human browsing patterns.
Skimlinks stores information about the device and browser type and version used to access sites where affiliate links are used. This helps Skimlinks to diagnose and fix browser compatibility issues and provide aggregate reporting.
As well as the information available in standard web server logs (i.e. IP address, date/time page requested and referrer page), Skimlinks also stores information about the web page with the affiliate link that the user clicked.
Skimlinks collects information on visits and sales on sites to which the affiliate links lead, including but not limited to: order value, products bought, and order identifiers. These are used to help publishers, merchants and advertisers make better marketing and content creation decisions.
If you do not want Skimlinks to store data about the websites you visit, the links you click and the merchants you buy from, you can opt out here. This will mean Skimlinks will not place its cookies when you browse websites with affiliate links. You can also find the link to opt out in our