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HOWTO spot affiliate link

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing refers to schemes where companies pay money to publishers in return for promoting their products. That means that every time you click affiliate link and get anything from the site you got redirected to, a cut of sale goes to the person who created the link. In the end it doesn’t affect the buyer of the product, but can generate a lot of profit (sometimes even more than 20% of the sale goes to the affiliate marketer).

This site doesn’t have any guidelines on how to manage affiliate links (e.g. if you need to specify the link is in affiliate program) meaning that you can support random people from here without any knowledge of it. Hopefully this guide will help you consciously support script and software creators, especially smaller ones.

How to spot the link from the affiliate program?

It’s actually really simple - the affiliate link is usually much longer than it counterpart and has a segment containing something like: “affiliate=…”, “a=…”, “ref=…” followed by random numbers and letters.

For example here is how the normal amazon link looks like:

https://www.amazon.ca/Adjustable-foldable-Portable-Lightweight-Compatible/dp/B07G55RBYJ/

And here is how the affiliate link will look like (it’s fake affiliate, only informative):

https://www.amazon.ca/Adjustable-foldable-Portable-Lightweight-Compatible/dp/B07G55RBYJ/ref=1627a654sd123ads72345a1015248&sr=8-41

Both links will give the same results, however, an affiliate link is not always clear before you click it. A lot of people here use sneaky affiliate links just to get the most money out of this community as they can without even mentioning it. You can see a link like this and not even notice that it is affiliate:

Laptop stand on Amazon

When you hover over the link without clicking it in the left lower corner of the browser you should see it’s true form:

Ok, but why does it matter?

There is a few reasons why it might matter to you:

  • Maybe you already knowingly supported someone by using his affiliate link - your favorite small youtuber/streamer or some small blog guy who could use those money. By clicking the random links here that person could lose any profit from you (and I’m not only thinking of porn oriented sites but also sites like amazon).

  • I saw a few posts in the paid script category that used other scripter’s affiliate links. It looked like it was a post template this person got and copied it maybe even without noticing someone else profits from this guy’s work. Knowingly or not - someone could lose a lot of money because of that.

  • Someone can promote worse products than others available on the market just because the producer offers a cut from the sales while others do not.

As far as I know the only people on this site using affiliate links are SLR scripters who are posting affiliate links when they are linking to their own content. I really wouldn’t consider this shady, nor does it have any effect whatsoever on the consumer.
as a side note I just looked through about 30 scripts and affiliate links were unique to the scripter in 100% of those that had affiliate links

If you could point to the specific posts you have noticed the issue on I am sure any of the mods here would be happy to take a look.

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Whenever someone covers the affiliate link it should be considered shady. This is why for example some subreddits have special rules whenever people post affiliate link, sometimes even prohibiting it from the use at all. I hate the fact that I have to check every link here if I want to support one specific scripter.

The laptop stand example is based on the recent posts from here, so tell me how is this “person’s own content”. The post has informatic character and in my opinion it’s really important for everyone to know what they click.

No way I find it now, but it’s there for sure. I think it was someone who started paid scripting and it was his/her first few posts, maybe it will help.

okay so it isn’t against a site rule here and you can’t point to a specific example then I don’t see a problem?
Vendors have an interest in making money from selling their content, this isn’t someone posting links to other people’s products and making money from it. The affiliate links I am aware of on this site come from content creators trying to make more money from selling their own content and/or content affiliated with their content.
Like I said if you can point to examples of affiliate links of any scripters being attached to content that they did not personally create that would be a problem, but I personally have not seen any examples of that here.

Again there are no schemes here, scripters are going to promote their products here whether or not they are allowed to post with affiliate links. I personally can’t see the problem you have with that.

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I don’t really understand what’s the matter with you. I made the informative post - that’s also not against site rules and only you have a problem with it. I gave a few examples why it might matter for people who are not familiar with the whole affiliate program thing, I can copy paste it here in the reply but what’s the point?

It wouldn’t have been an issue if you guys were open about it and didn’t hide it like you don’t want people to know that maybe they do not willingly support you. Again this post is for everyone who wants to have more control where their money goes.

Just go read some recent posts by your fella and you will see what I’m writing about, tens of affiliate links hided in every post like they are something bad, maybe they are, I don’t know.

Discuss ‘covers’ affiliate links automatic, here are some samples:
(ATTENTION: Don’t click the links! I used my own SLR affiliate in this examples. So if you click them and then buy something there, the chance is high that i get some cents (or actually dollars!) from SLR!!!)

Manually ‘cover’ of an affiliate link:
More available scripts on SLR: Fleshlight-launch-kiiroo VR Porn Movies

Automatic ‘cover’ of an affiliate link by discuss itself (sample 1):
More available scripts on SLR: Interactive sex toys VR Porn Videos Interactive sex toys VR Sex | SexLikeReal

Automatic ‘cover’ of an affiliate link by discuss itself (sample 2):

Manually ‘uncover’ of an affiliate link:
More available scripts on SLR: https://www.sexlikereal.com/tags/interactive-sex-toys-vr?a=5ec0fe029736fe255a1bfa92

Which one of these examples do you like the most? The one that is not even clickable but as clear as it gets?
Personally i prefer one of the first three examples because with a simple click they take me to the place i want to see. Do you think we should add a disclamer like “ATTENTION AFFILIATE LINK”? :thinking:

I think there is a huge difference when you post your links under your posts that promotes your script where links like this are expected and when you post replies where you “help” someone (or yourself?) by posting affiliate links. Because of that this site is in my opinion a mess and in the end it’s hard to track who you actually support. It’s up to admins to allow or not links like that, but by allowing it I’m sure some people in the future will start to get the money out of unaware people and this is why I made this topic. The purpose of this post is purely educational. I think that everyone have the right to know where their money goes.

Of course only complaints go from you guys who made money out of this situation and now feel for some reason offended because I uncovered the truth that even if some people here are not buying your scripts they might support you - either willingly or by mistake by clicking one of your links. Again I don’t really see why. @HeelsLover69, please correct me if I am wrong but from what I remember paid scripters always covered those links, even on the RTS forum where you couldn’t cover it by mistake.

I totally use affiliate links. They are on all of my posts with an SLR link. I can get more return on my scripts than not using one. This way I get more of the profit on my own work than SLR. Again, EVERYONE OF MY POSTS HAS AN AFFILIATE LINK.

Seriously guys, why you are going mad about this post? Your behaviour is toxic af and I start to regret that I ever supported you by buying your scripts. Sad to see something like this, because I always wanted to support smaller scripters like you guys as opposed to a few bigger fish in the ocean.

@Astramax
Why do you think we are going mad, only because we reply to your topic?
I don’t mind at all when people know that I always use affiliate links when I link to SLR. But you accuse us of deceiving people because we are hiding the links.

Did you even read my post?

But instead it’s better to attack me and make me feel uncomfortamble.

Just some examples of things you have said in this thread that are actively implying that there are scripters maliciously exploiting members of this community. Not only are your claims unsubstantiated but they are potentially damaging to the scripters who provide this content. That is why.

If your post was just meant to be informative that would have been fine, but based on statements like those quoted that does not appear to be the case.

@Astramax
Yes, I’ve read all of your posts. I am very sorry if you feel bad and attacked now, that was not my intention at all. But this post from you

made me sad and feeling uncomfortable too. With my first post I just wanted to show that it is not that easy to uncover the affiliate links even if you wanted to.

@Dungeon_Master I’m not going through 500 posts to look into every single link to find the one. I pointed you in the right direction, if someone posts affiliate links without checking them first it’s this person’s issue. If that’s the matter I don’t think it was one of your post, it was from someone who started paid scripting here on eroscripts if I recall.

I know there is a post like this (or maybe two) so I figured it’s a good example that people should be careful what they are copying, because on discuss you copy the whole link even if it looks normal but can be affiliate in the end - someone will see a cool looking post and will copy it without noticing things like that, they are hard to spot.

As to products it might be a little generalised, I can see that, but I think people should be aware that someone can post a link to an item that can be worse than others just because it will make him money. I’m totally fine with affialite links in the paid category, but I saw a lot of affiliate links lately by your boss - to amazon, sex toys products, trying to “help” someone by posting affiliate links outside of that category and decided to increase awareness of the issue. In the end if I click one of your links @Dungeon_Master, @HeelsLover69, @DabMerino and I want to support you I can easily lose that possibility by clicking a link outside of the paid scripts category.

It’s all good, I really want to support smaller scripters like you, this is why I am careful with affiliate links, because I have limited budget and can’t afford to spend hundreds of dollars for scripts and subscriptions, but at least I can try to pass some of those money without cost increase. Lately it’s really hard to keep track of it, that’s all. If any of you feel somehow offended by my post I’m sorry, but believe me I have good intentions.

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Thank you for your comment in pointing that out @Dungeon_Master

Thank you @HeelsLover69 for giving excellent examples of helping clarify why links are often shorten and cleaned up

@Astramax I’m glad it appears you have somewhat apologized for your comments here towards @Dungeon_Master @HeelsLover69, @DabMerino but it appears you still seem to have a problem with me or my posts

Please let me address that:

I understand your concern about affiliate links, but none of us are using affiliate links for so called ‘sneaky/shady/malicious’ reasons, and its wrong to accuse someone of doing so without any actual proof in the first place

Please try putting yourself in my shoes, as I am trying to do with you

Let me please point out:

Your statement above about amazon links are completely incorrect:

Since you used an example of a post I made here to try to help a fellow user = OSR2(+) [Sex Robot] For Sale - Website is Up - #200 by Realcumber

A simple quick google search would have shown you this:

There is no affiliate ID tag in my link, all I did was go to amazon, searched for the stand, then pasted the link I found - you can try it yourself, you will get an identical looking link which has info that just shows how the link was searched for

I do have other referral links (just like all SLR script vendors do) but as you mentioned, it has no effect on the buyer whatsoever - in fact it can actually give the interested buyers special discounts going through the certain links I am able to provide

If you are referring to my links in places like here: POLL - ALL Toy Device Owners Out there - Lets get a Toy Count and find out which is most popular! 14 toys listed - then absolutely I would rather use my own links if I can to direct guys to which toys Im referring to asking about

Would you give free advertising and profits to big companies if you had a choice when you can earn something back just for linking them?

In that post I’m not even trying to influence guys to pick one over the other, which I would completely understand your concerns if that were the case - because people can for sure mislead others based on a biased incentive
But all I did was list basically every toy that is worthwhile out there, and send guys also non-affiliated links where to find the toys in the list as well

The first Toy I list and always list in my posts and that poll is the OSR2

If I cared about affiliate links earnings from toys always first, would I really place @Tempest 's link and @M0SAIC’s site to buy from constantly above all the others in my posts?

If you were to create an affiliate account and I was interested in buying something you found, no question I would rather click and buy it through your link rather than just giving that money fully to a big faceless company, and I would thank you for helping me find it


@Astramax - Thank you for helping support any paid scripts that interested you, but please can we try to be more respectful to one another?

I consider all the paid scripters here my fellow colleagues, and I feel the same with all of the users here on this forum
We’re all just regular guys here trying to get by in life, and can easily get along if we just try a little

FYI - I’m an independent contractor, just like they are, I just spend alot more time doing this work in order to be able to try to make a living more than minimum wage out of it

My earnings come the same way script vendors do
I rely on script sales and affiliate links to support myself and my family, just like they do

If you click on my links and end up supporting me, I truly appreciate it and I’m happy to keep up the work and keep helping people with my time
If you would rather not, of course you don’t have to, but please be respectful about it

It should be easy to see who you want to support with any links they offer by simply looking at their profile picture in their posts of comments - most of us have pretty unique icons

I try to have thick skin online, but I have to admit that I found your accusations quite hurtful, especially since the very opposite is true of me

Over the years I have helped countless people here on this forums and elsewhere, including scripters and countless random users, for countless hours publicly and via PMs and behind the scenes - I am not just some ‘random’ guy - I’ve been around forever with tons of experience and knowledgeable recommendations that people trust in and I hope to never let that trust down

Again, I get your concern, but in the future lets please just make comments based on facts instead of throwing around harmful accusations, so we can keep Eroscripts (a site we are all passionate about) continue to be a positive and respectful place

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So if someone makes a poll like “What porn website do you use?” and then add links to every possible porn website there is, from which 70% of links will be affiliates then it’s totally ok to you? If you add affiliate links to your post then the reason is to make money out of it, I don’t see why you try to deny that.

As I wrote in my comments before, the affiliate links are not a problem when they are expected (e.g. in paid category), the problem is when you put it left and right across the whole site farming clicks whenever you can. This way if someone just used the link from the paid category for other users then you and then went to a guide/help post/poll and clicked your link you take their revenue. I think other scripters should also have the chance to get the money out of their links, but I haven’t seen them farming links with such high frequency as you. If they think that’s fair so be it, but hopefully with better awareness of those links people will be able to support smaller scripters too.

As to amazon link, I’m still not so sure about it, it looks different than what you sent. I still think that increased awareness when it comes to links like this won’t hurt anyone.

You are the 4th paid scripter who is attacking my post when I only wanted to increase awareness of those links since you flood every possible category with them. I didn’t specified in my post that any of you use affiliate links for malicious reasons, yet you think I did for some reason. You are writing about respect, but write disrespectful posts towards me like this, accusing me that I had bad intentions with that post. There is a flag system on the site, if you think my post is disappropiate you can report it and the mods will deal with it. I don’t think it is, I don’t see anyone else having issue with it, yet I have to respond to half of the paid scripters from here who felt offended for some reason. I don’t know why you try to keep those links a secret, in my opinion bigger awareness will let people support you better.

All in all at least all of you guys bring attention to this post and that’s what I’m thankful for. Hopefully you guys will think about your behaviour and apologize for it when you cool off a little.

In case you missed it I did quote the sections of your posts where you accused scripters (seemingly @Realcumber specifically) of using affiliate links to point toward inferior products to make a buck. The fact that 4 people have felt it was necessary to address your comments should be enough evidence that something you said was offensive. In fact some of the people who have responded to you had the power to simply delete your post, it stays up because we are adults and would rather resolve disputes publicly rather than sweeping them under the rug.
More to the point not one of us has attacked you specifically. We have tried to clear up how and why affiliate links are used on this site, and have asked that you not accuse scripters of wrongdoing without providing evidence.

Seriously? just read every single comment you made here in this thread alone - they are incredibly accusatory and inflammatory and for no good reason

@DabMerino , @HeelsLover69 , @Dungeon_Master are not just paid scripters

They are hugely positive contributors to this community and site, who have given tons of free content, and are constantly commenting and helping others - its completely uncalled for highly disrespectful

We can agree to disagree but we cant disrespect eachother

Please re-read your comments (and your own comment history here on ES) and see how they actually sound out loud and see if you still think you weren’t being accusatory and maybe could have chosen some better friendlier ways of saying things

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And tell me who accused who first? Was it me or was it everyone of you, one by one? You are telling me to believe that you have good intetnions, yet you can’t believe in mine. Of course it’s easier to attack one person then defend against whole army of paid scripters who just found a scapegoat.

So this is why they can be disrespectful towards me? As you wrote, please re-read yours and your friends comments here loud and maybe you will understand who started this whole stupid conversation. I’m not gonna bring the comment history point, but if you want you might take a look into it and while you are there please count how many times you posted affiliate links on the site outside of your posts in paid category, maybe you will finally see the problem.

I think that all four of you are trying to push my buttons to get a reason to delete this post, but if that’s the case I’m gonna dissapoint you, it’s going to be a lot harder than that. I think that everyone has the right to know where their money goes and if they want to support you one way or another. Even after all those wrong accusations and stress that you inflict on me I will still support smaller scripters by using their links. Maybe you think that’s ok to take 99% of affiliate links revenue from here, but hopefully a lot of people will be able to support other scripters this way too.

I’m not a paid scripter, this is a storm in a teacup and a weird one at that.

The only time I mind affiliate links is when I feel baited into them by garbage posts. Not seeing that here. All this talk of “shadiness” when it doesn’t have an impact on any of the content here. It doesn’t impact us negatively! There was actually someone further up saying “WARNING DON’T CLICK ON MY LINK, I might get some money from it”, as if that’s such a crime. I literally lose nothing by clicking on an affiliate link, so I don’t mind at all as long as it’s not an affiliate link trap.

Not too long ago everyone was up in arms about paid scripters not getting a large enough slice of the pie. Now we have this upheaval about one of the few ways they can increase their income at no additional cost to the rest of us. Ludicrous.

The first post was fine, then it got weird.

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