Vivaldi Direct Match

Continuing the discussion from Are we your friendly, discreet Librarian?:

With respect to speeding you toward your destination, I recently noticed “DIrect Match” ads in Vivaldi’s search suggestions. Clicking on the suggestion takes you directly to a website instead of search results. It is effectively an affiliate link.

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Good spot, I get an admarketus parameter when clicking; tried a few other sites but I can’t seem to find another one.

There is also Macy’s and Rakuten.

Well, first, you can disable Direct Match in Settings:

Direct Match in Settings

But, the help article says that, for now, the ads are only enabled when the browser is set to English (US).

Note that as we start, our geographical coverage is limited to the United States. Thus, we have this feature only enabled by default for people who have Vivaldi configured to use the English(US) language. If everything goes well, we will expand the feature to more regions.

So, if you’re using English (UK) then I would expect Direct Match to be disabled for you.

Also, the help article says:

Why should I click on these suggestions?

With Direct Match, you get to access a page quickly that you intended to visit. At the same time, we hope that you will use those suggestions with the knowledge that you are financially helping us to continue providing a great browsing experience.


Privacy aspects

As with everything else in Vivaldi, Direct Match does not track you.

But, note that Amazon makes available a list of purchases to affiliates. I used to listen to a radio show where, as a gag, they would read off a list of adult items purchased by people who used the show’s affiliate link.

For this kind of test, you can create a new Vivaldi profile and check their bundled bookmarks.

Open the Settings page > Address Bar (tab) > Manage Profiles (button). There is an ‘Add’ button in the modal window.

I keep the ‘Account’ icon in my toolbar which you can use to ‘Exit’ a profile. I find that explicitly exiting a profile keeps it from taking over as the default. You can also manage profiles from the Account icon.

Also, pet peeve, I’m not sure why Rakuten bought only to rename it to Rakuten.


According to the Vivaldi Help page Mike linked:

If you click on the direct match suggestion, it will bring you to a page and earns Vivaldi a small amount of revenue.

Only a minimum amount of data goes to us and no identifying information is seen by anyone. This only happens when clicking a suggestion, otherwise, no data is exchanged.

This makes me think Vivaldi is enrolled in a special kind of affiliate program. I have some familiarity with Amazon affiliate marketing. With the standard program, they give you a query parameter you can add to the end of Amazon affiliate links, which will then load a cookie on the visitor’s browser. In this case, you only get money when the visitor purchases an item. You don’t get paid when the visitor lands on the page.

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Just for clarification: Vivaldi has always been supported by affiliate programs. All those commercial bookmarks Vivaldi comes loaded with are affiliate links. After all they have to make money somehow.

I’m sure you all know this, I’m just clarifying because you never know who will come along later and read a thread.

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