Nearly six months ago, affiliate marketing specialist VigLink sought to redefine the way businesses pay publishers for in-content links by launching an exchange product to make link bidding — or “link optimization” — more competitive.
Unlike most general exchange operators, VigLink is squarely aligned with publishers. By opening an affiliate link to be bid upon by marketers, instead of a first-come, first-served basis, publishers stand to make more money than they otherwise would.
"When a person who mentions a product and inserts a link to that seller, they probably randomly choose one of the many potential merchants they might link out to," said VigLink CEO Oliver Roup. He called links an “illiquid commodity,” since there’s no real competition for in-content affiliate links.
After all, once a link is inserted into a piece of content, Roup said, “a publisher is not going to go back and edit the link to point to a different merchant, even if that merchant offers a little more money. That's the dynamic we're trying to change."