Amazon Affiliate links are everywhere.
Most blogs that get any traffic from Google will use them because they are an easy way to monetize a website.
If you want to know whether or not a link to Amazon is an affiliate link here are a few methods you can use to find out:
1. Look For “/tag=?”
All amazon affiliate links use a tag that features the website’s Amazon ID, this is required to track any sales that come through their link.
This will be in the link URL and will look something like this:
What Does An Amazon Affiliate Link Look Like?
A full Amazon Affiliate link will usually look something like this:
Often the link will be significantly longer than this, the key thing is that it contains tag=.
To check if a link has an Amazon affiliate tag hover your mouse over the link, in the bottom left corner of your browser you should see a preview of the link URL.
Wait a couple of seconds for the full URL to load.
Look at the URL to see if you can find ‘&/tag=?‘ anywhere in it.
If you see a tag then the link is an Amazon Affiliate link.
2. How To Check Cloaked Amazon Affiliate Links
Link cloaking is the practice of redirecting affiliate links via an internal URL.
For example, this link to Amazon is cloaked. If you hover over it you will see a link to http://danrich.co/amazon-deal
If you click it you will be redirected to Amazon.com.
Link cloaking is used to help track clicks through affiliate links.
As a general rule if you see a cloaked link it is likely to be an affiliate link.
If you want to be certain if a cloaked link is an Amazon affiliate link then click it and when the Amazon page loads scan the URL in the address bar to find ‘&tag=‘.
3. Use A Browser Extension
Another way to check if a link to Amazon is to use a browser extension to highlight sponsored links.
Google advises that affiliate links should contain a rel=”sponsored” tag.
You can use a browser extension to highlight any links that use the sponsored tag.
To do this in the Chrome browser:
- Head to the Chrome Web Store and install Detect Nofollow.
- Click Add Extension.
- The plugin should automatically be running.
- Head to the site you want to check the links on.
- If the link uses the nofollow or sponsored attributes it will appear with a red box around it.
If the sponsored or nofollow attributes are used then it is likely to be an affiliate link.
Be aware that sponsored tags may also be used on links that have been paid for.
The rel=”sponsored” link attribute is also relatively new (circa 2020), many sites do not use it.
Sites that do use the sponsored link attribute often haven’t added it to their historical affiliate links.
Some sites also use the nofollow attribute on all their outgoing links.
So this is by no means a foolproof method of checking to see if an Amazon link is an affiliate link, however the likelihood is that if a site is linking to Amazon and they have taken the time to add nofollow/sponsored attributes to the link then it is an Amazon affiliate link.