Ha! I wouldn't count on that.
It's not a web hosting thing. It's advertising. Almost everything is affiliate driven and unless you directly type CompanyName.com into your browser (and it's actually their site), you'd probably be surprised if you knew how rich people have gotten off of your mouse clicks.
Then, throw in all of those people that think the top Google results are really the top results. They send affiliates a fortune.
Besides, Dreamhost's promo codes have the opposite affect. If an affiliate is willing to give up their $97 and recommend them, then it's probably a real recommendation. Especially considering there are a bunch of hosts they could recommend instead at $100+ per referral.
It doesn't mean that you can't truly recommend a host that just happens to pay you to do so, but it's silly to think that's what everyone's doing, especially people that basically recommend every host on the planet... well, at least the ones with affiliate programs.
I'm not saying what they're doing is wrong--it's just marketing. I'm just saying it's not the place to be doing research.
Save up to $96 at Dreamhost with ALMOST97 promo code (I get $1).
Or save $97 with THEFULL97.