Our mission has always been to provide open and honest reviews, comparison and consumer information and to put our readers’ interests first, so it’s only fair that we’re open and upfront about how we’re funded. As a business, our challenge is to ensure we put you, our reader, first and provide impartial information that you can trust while still generating revenue by working with advertisers. The best way to explain how we achieve this is by giving you an insight into our methodology.
A word on our methodology
When our analysts review a service or recommend a product in an article, they will only do so once they have tested the product or service themselves. If they don’t like it, then they are free to say so, regardless of whether we have an advertiser relationship with that company or not. We’ll never recommend a product we wouldn’t be happy to use ourselves. Unfortunately, some review sites will rate the services they have the best commercial relationships the highest. We’ll never engage in such a practice and would rather pack our bags and go home than compromise our editorial integrity.
When we list a product, service or app in a review or an article, we’ll usually link to it.
Advertisers and referral fees
Some of these links allow us to earn a referral fee if you, the reader, goes on to sign up for the service, which in turns helps us fund the site. We also post many links to services and websites with which we have no advertiser relationship. If we link to a product or service, it’s because we believe it’s worth taking a look at in the context of the article or review. Once an article or review is completed by one of our analysts, a separate team retrospectively looks at which of these links we can add something called an affiliate tracking code to. This code allows us to earn a referral fee if you go on to make a purchase. To dispel a popular misconception, clicking on a referral link won’t cost you extra if you go on to make a purchase. In some cases, it could actually save you money where we have negotiated special deals for our readers.
Hang on, aren’t you pro-privacy and anti-tracking?
If referral fees sound like a shady area, it’s not. Many of the world’s biggest brands including Amazon, eBay and Apple have affiliate programs and some of the largest and most respected IT publishers participate in affiliate marketing. As advocates of security and privacy, the word ‘tracking code’ sets off alarm bells, and we’re very conscious about how we use this technology. Our only reason for adding these affiliate links is to track whether you sign up for a service from our referral so we can benefit from it. There’s no purpose beyond that and we’re not looking to invade your privacy with any annoying ads. Of course, once you go on to visit a third party site, it may have its own tracking in place, as most big brands do, but that stipulation exists whether you visit the site via one of our links or not.
We’d like your support, but the choice is yours
Referral fees help support this site and pay for our amazing analysts, writers, developers and web designers. It costs you nothing and we’d really appreciate your support. However, we’re all about choice and if you’d prefer to block any sort of tracking, we’d suggest you install an anti-tracking extension to your browser. There’s a number of free ones available, some of which we cover in our huge list of free privacy tools (Ghostery is probably your best bet).
Head over to our contact page if you have any questions and we’ll be happy to help.