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Amazon affiliate links are the scourge of reviews


I'm becoming more and more frustrated with the amount of Amazon affiliate links that are flooding the internet. Whenever I search for product reviews, comparisons, or "best of" lists, the first few pages of results are littered with websites that appear to be gaming SEO. Their articles just post product descriptions mixed with simple "review" language, and inevitably are followed by a large call-to-action button that's an Amazon affiliate link to the product. There are swaths of these websites - and it makes sense, they're likely cheap to run and are decently profitable.

I don't know what to do these days in order to find solid review outlets that I can trust. They all come off as barely-veiled advertisements funded by Amazon. I've started turning to YouTube, since I can at least tell if the reviewer has actually purchased the product they're talking about.

Wirecutter used to be my go-to, but I'm noticing their reviews are Amazon dominated too - I've been researching Ring Lights to improve my remote workspace, and Wirecutter's list was almost all Amazon product links. Several other of their articles I looked at had similar patterns. The top of Wirecutter's website features the disclaimer:

Wirecutter is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Which, kudos for them for clearly stating that, but... frankly it sucks. I know they do actually purchase and review these products, but I can't shake the nagging feeling that the process is shifty and underhanded.