Go to Google, Bing or any other search engine and look for treadmill reviews. Overwhelming? There is a lot of information to go through. But where do you start? How do you know if any of those treadmill reviews are real or honest? Who is behind them?

My goal is to audit the review sites out there so that you know exactly what you are reading. I want you to know who is saying what and why. But for you to really understand all the review sites out there, you need to know about something called affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is a very popular way to make money online. It is very simple. Suppose I make treadmills. Suppose you review treadmills. I contact you and ask if you want to be an affiliate of my company. You agree. Now when you post reviews of my treadmills, you include a link that says “Click Here To Buy This Treadmill” which takes readers to my online store. That link has an affiliate tracking code in it. If anyone reads your review, clicks your link and buys a treadmill from me, I give you a commission for referring the sale. Got it?

Almost every single treadmill review website is an affiliate website. This means they have a vested interest in portraying certain treadmills as being good because they want you to buy them so they earn a commission. It is certainly possible for affiliate sites to be fair and honest, you just have to know that some of them won’t review treadmills at all. They will just copy and paste the manufacturer’s description and then talk up the treadmill as best they can. They then do a process called Search Engine Optimization (SEO for short) in which they artificially inflate their rankings in Google’s search results.

So when you search for treadmill reviews, you find theirs, you like what you hear, you click their link and you buy. They get paid their commission and are happy campers. Since fitness equipment is a multi-billion dollar industry, there is plenty to go around. Again, sites can have affiliate links and still be honest and fair about each machine. But if you see a website that only reviews 4 or 5 brands, that’s a red flag that they are affiliates for those 4 or 5 brands and are just going to tell you every machine is the best you can buy for that price range.

Head spinning yet? Sorry for the confusion, but you have to know that about online treadmill reviews. Or any reviews for that matter. Same thing applies to just about every industry there is. So remember, no affiliate links means a much better chance they are real reviews. But don’t worry, if you just check out my ratings, you will see which sites you can trust.