SkimLinks vs VigLink

the Comparison : SkimLinks and VigLink Affiliate Networks

    I search a lot before joining one of them. But I can't decide which is the better. There is too much comparison made between them but they are not complete. Just talking about some pieces but none of them give the complete picture. After tried both of the services, I try to write my own and fill that gap.

Which one is the best? SkimLinks or VigLink

Here is the table for comparison match.
At the left and red corner, the VigLink!
And at the right and blue corner, the SkimLinks!
Round 1, FIGHT!



1 Minute

Require up to 3 business day for approval


Copy/Paste Java Script

Supports REST API on request.

Also have "Installation Checker"

Copy/Paste Java Script

Also support Flash integration

Plug-ins & Integrations

Tapatalk Integration

ForumRunner Integration Apps Integration

Plug-In's For: vBulletin & WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, phpBB, TypePad

Ning Integration

Plug-In's For: vBulletin & Wordpress

Merchant Count

~32.000 active merchants

17,278 active merchants

Active Merchant On Start

VigLink says, merchants are active on first day unless merchant operates by white-list,
in which case you must request to be added.

SkimLinks says, all merchants are active at first day.


Monthly via PayPal

US Check by request

Monthly via PayPal.

UK/US Bank Transfer

US Check

Payment Delay

Net-60 days.

Net-90 days.

Revenue Share

They have %25 and give you %75.

They keep silent about "VigLink Insert" the auto link generation engine product link shares.
You can easily guess that they also have %25 of it but they don't, Instead;
They keep %50 of the revenue from the auto generated links.
It's looks too high to me!

There will be conversion issue if merchant payment made/report in some other currency different than USD.
Since USD is most used currency for Internet purchases, it's OK for me.

They have %25 and give you %75.

The SkimWord links, the autogenerated links, will pay the Publisher a variable amount for every valid click.
But actual rates are written at nowhere.

Ahh. They forgot to say that, there is little loss about conversion of currency even if merchant pays in USD and you have your money from SkimLinks as USD, as little as %2.89 to %2.21.
I think this is an issue since GBP is not widely used for pay internet purchases as much as USD.

The corrected ratio for USD: You will just have ~%72. Skimlink have ~%25. Remaining ~%3 will be vaporized!
Details at bellow.

Transction Fee

VigLink pays the all PayPal fees.

SkimLinks pays the bank transfer fees.

Also pays the PayPal fees for UK/US.

But not for internationals. Internationals needed to pay %2.9 + $0.30 to PayPal!

After my request, CEO said that, SkimLinks will pay PayPal fees for every cases starting from next month  (September 2011).

Payment Threshold


$50 or 35£ $10 or 7£ or 8€

After my request, CEO said that SkimLink will be reduce it to $10/7£ starting from next month!  (September 2011).

Referral Programs

They give %10 of publishers commission rate from VigLinks share for a year.

At Jan 2013, VigLink changed their referral commission rate to %35 of VigLinks commission for a year.

In short, they increased the commission to match SkimLinks rate. This shows benefits of the competition.

Equals: %8.75 of total..

At 1 November 2012, SkimLink decide to update their referral commisions rate with better ratio and they will give %35 of SkimLinks commission for a year.

Equals: %8.75 of total..

%10 of SkimLinks commission for text referrals.

And will give %12 of SkimLinks commission for banner/badge links. For one year.


%2.5 of total (for text link)

%3.0 of total (for badge/banner)

Personal Referral Benchmark

VigLink's referral income is #1. You can track how much referral income you earn day by day and your referred client count.

Personally, my monthly referral income from Viglink is not even comparable from that I earn from Skimlinks for years!

Skimlinks referral system has some issues. You can't know how much person that you gained to system and only could see how much is your referral income once at month.

Personally, monthly referral income from Viglink is a "hundered times more" than Skimlink for some months. This make me thinking about it. Could it be explained with just a bad chance of SkimLinks only?


Compatible with U.S. system. Have multiple forms for tax reporting but they doesn't collect any tax.


But you have problems if you are non-US publisher. U.S. Laws wanted to have %30 income tax from alien foreigners! Also needed to fill complicated ambiguous forms and apply for ITIN (tax id number) if you want to keep everything legal.

Also, you might need to pay your income tax at your country. Double kill!


From 10 September 2012, VigLink supports "Certificate of No United States Activities" option for keeping users to fill meaningles U.S. Tax forms.

( I believe that, this move about my advices and the web page that you are reading now. )

For U.K. Citizens they collect VAT.


For other countries. You can pay your income tax to your country by your country laws...

Contextual Advertisement

Link Weaver, generates automatic links from merchant names and product specific references.

SkimWords, generate automatic links from merchant names and product names...

Link Override

Optional link override for Amazon and Ebay links.

Optional link override for Amazon links only.

Already Affiliated Link Warning

Shows how many already affiliated links available at your pages but does not give any other information.

Does not show any warning about it.


Quick and satisfactory.

Unfortunatelly, the support is not as good as at old days. But you will get some answer to your questions...

Widgets & Tools

VigLink Anywhere (Link Generator)
Merchant Coverage Check

Custom Domain
Link Generator
Merchant Check Showcases
Search Boxes

Allow External Accounts


Allows external administrator, reporting and tools account types.

Click Statistics

Live or with little delay.

After a day.

Commission Calculation

~1-2 Days

~2-3 Days

Affiliated Pages Statistics


CEO said working on them and will add soon.
But not hear any improvement for a year.

Yes.(At last!)

Affiliates Links Statistics



CEO said that Skimlinks working on it and will supported soon.
But not see any improvement for a year, too.

Merchandise Sale Statistics

Detailed statistics show every merchandise sale unit by your referral.

Indeed you can track how many purchase and total value of purchase but I can't call it as a real statistics since it doesn't allow publishers to improve their sites.

Truth Ratio of Purchases

I can see almost all of my purchases at Viglink statistics reports.

Well. Skimlinks has always some problem with this. I cannot track some of my purchases from different merchants while I am using their services. I submit support request for non-reported payments. Skimlinks used to ask merchants about situation.
Also Skimlink doesn't show purchased units. It became harder to track your purchases...

Correct Purchase Value and Commission

Viglink system reports every purchase as it is. At least for purchass in USD. It's OK when you think almost all purchases at internet paid by USD. You don't loose a penny for conversion.

Skimlinks has an issue on this. They store every purchase as GBP at their databases since they are UK based.
This is OK if you are living at UK and get your payment in GBP. Everything looks like as they need to be.

But if you have your payment in USD, this means you will loose your money even a merchant pays a commission in USD...
If a merchant report a sale in USD (means almost all merchants), than Skimlinks need to convert it to GBP.
Or merchant convert the commission to GBP to report Skimlink. Than they re-convert it to USD if you are using USD at your statistics and/or payment. Result is different purchase values than actual.
Does it effect your commission? Yup...
My purchases shown that little less purchase than actual price, every time! Means my commission has to be little less than actual also.
Skimlinks users are loose some money from their actual commission due this (unmeaningfull) conversion.
How much less? Depending my calculation, Its looks like between %2.89 - %2.21.
It's not looks like that much at first. But if you have $100 payment per month, it equals $35~$25 per year.

What skimlink support say about this issue?
"It's far from a perfect system but the focus here needs to be on volume as that will drive revenue for you."
And the conversion difference will vaporized to Skimlinks vault if merchant pays in USD, or to merchants/banks vault.
This does not look so fair to me.

Statistics View

Calendar Style

Graphic Style

Statistics Filtering


Supports filtering by domain and merchants.

Statistics Range

Daily, weekly and monthly ranges available only, but not configurable by date.

Allow custom statistics ranges.

Statistics Export

CSV export for a week only.

XML,CSV,PDF export for custom ranges.


Summary of VigLink vs SkimLinks comparison

     As you can see, their service is similar and both company has some weak and strong points...


Viglink is relatively new company. They support JavaScript and REST API to implement VigLinks to any environment (with authorization). You can start earning money instantly, without any delay. but AFAIK they don't enable all Merchants at startup. (Needed to research on it.) They has smaller merchant count but this is not that important. Because both company supports the big merchants. Your main links might probably affiliated with VigLink but SkimLinks by chance. Don't try to judge by looking merchant count... They pay same commission as Skimlink but they are free from conversion loss if you have your payment in USD! Which means %2,5 higher profit for you. And they pay your commission after 2 month. Also they don't have any payment threshold. That means you can try them without any fear. They have Page and Link statistics features. This is killer feature of VigLink. With them, you can understand user demand, for example which links returns much money, which goods are sold much with your links. And than and could increase your revenue by ajdusting your site. With this information you can earn much more money from your site. VigLink makes auto conversions of brand and product names to affiliated links. I can say that their statistics are a day quicker than SkimLinks. Their GUI more informative/detailed due presence of Affiliate statistics but doesn't looks good to my eye. At their referral program, they generously pay %7.5 of total Merchant income from their %25 share for a year. I can say that, one of my monthly income is much more than that I earn from skimlinks for a years. If you target referral income, VigLink is only choice for me.

     The biggest downside of VigLink is that you can't inspect statistics for custom range. That's annoying. They allow statistics view for day,week and month only...Also VigLink could export statistics only for a week. Not for custom dates... But this is just "cosmetic". I think there is no any downside of VigLink service. Ah,I forget non-enabled merchants. You needed to fınd which merchants are not enabled on your account and you needed to send request to enable your "un-enabled" merchants for start earning from your existing links... How could you understand which merchants are disabled on your account? I don't know. You needed to understand magically. I really don't know why VigLink do not make this process automatically for you. Does any one know?


SkimLinks at the other hand, they needed to review your site for activation first and this takes up to 3 days. Not so meaningful problem... Your application might not accepted too but when they activate your account, your site activated for all of the SkimLinks merchants.. Not part of it like VigLinks. They support both JavaScript and Flash Code. They take %25 from income too and pay %75 as VigLink. They provide some other payment methods like US Check, US/UK Bank Transfer and they pay the transaction fees. They pay also by PayPal too. They have a payment threshold limit, $10. Which is no limit for me. I don't want to paid something under $10 personally for this service, instead wait a month and have something bigger. So you can try SkimLinks without fear too. Since Skimlinks U.K. based, they collect tax (vat) for your self if you are U.K. citizen. They pay your commission after 3 months, a month late than VigLinks. SkimLinks have also some other tools like SkimWord which changes product name texts into affiliated links automatically. But they are keen on statistics about their SkimWord products. You can't track your income from merchants if it paid from SkimWord link. I really don't understand why SkimLinks behave like that. It's my s'te and I want to get information about auto-generated links too!. Skimlinks have some widgets like product search on ebay and amazon sites which means more income for you. SkimLinks also have EveryFeed product feed widget which is another plus if you really gonna use it. SkimLinks uses graphical statistics GUI and it looks more attractive than VigLink's calendar style GUI to my eye. They have merchant filtering "for SkimLinks" (not for SkimWords) and could export custom range statistics too...

One of the biggest downside of SkimLinks is absence of affiliated link and page statistics. While I write this, they looks like start to support "page statistics" only. But still missing the unit and link statistics. You can't know which links attracts your users or which goods sold by your links. It's like fishing blindly. You can't find hot topics/spots with SkimLink service. Other one is money loss due currency translations. Since thir database need to convert every purchase to GBP, and almost all internet payments made by USD, purchases need to be translated to GBP and this means loss. If you have your money from VigLink in GBP, this is mandatory and it is no issue. But if you have your payment in other currencies like USD than this conversion became obselete and you loose cents/dolars from every USD payment. This means ~%2,5 reduction from your commission. So your income it not stıll %75 but it became %72,5. Than Viglink starts to looks like a better alternative to my eye. SkimLinks is also better if they put ebay affiliate override like VigLinks too. I believe that is not so hard to do.

Result of VigLink vs SkimLink Match

    It looks like SkimLink offers more features. But at the important subjects, they are all red on comparison table, still. They know their publishers value and they could easily break “big company habits” with my request. (Like payment threshold reduction). Hey they are the market leader and not needed to make such improvements by just one of jobless computer engineer (it's me) ideas actually but they do. And the make profit from this move. They are free from arrogance. I feel respect to them. SkimLink don't have Affiliate Link and Affiliate Page analyze tools yet and personally those are the biggest down point of them. But CEO Alicia said that they will work on it and soon they will also support those statistics too. But they are still not available. I wait for a year and still waiting. If you don't care that affiliated links statistics data, than SkimLink is good choice for you. If you ready to ignore that conversion loss due currency translation. But you know that all merchants are active from beginning.

At the other hand, VigLink, which has no payment threshold, you can break the program anytime because there is no transaction limit. They pay a month faster than SkimLink. Also they offer Affiliate links and page analyze tools. Give speedy statistics and pays much more for referral publisher in practice. I see 4 digit payments just from referrals in some months. Same site usually give 2 digit referral income from SkimLink. My personal choice is VigLink service, looks superior than Skimlinks, both on practice and on the paper. Because I can track my user habbits and purchases from my users. They pay a month quicker than skimlinks and for their generous 4 digit referrral income...

Now it's time to choose your destiny. Pick one of them:


If you found anything changed, missing or wrong, please email to me about it. spamjunkeater at gmail dot com
All rights reserved. Copyright Erdem U. Altinyurt 2012.