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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Finally back on ABW - woohoo! My Java development has been kicking my butt so I'll take a small break - LOL.

    I posted this in the old forum and some of you may have seen it but I figured I'd go ahead and post here for discussion.

    It's pretty much been said the click stream of networks links is protected by the COC on other networks and TT has said they will protect theirs. The basic concept of the COC was to protect non parasitic affiliates from the abuse that was being bestowed on them by massive link overwriting that was being done by parasites.

    For affiliates not using network links directly in their html, they were given afsrc=1 as a method to signal parasites not to intervene by overwriting a cookie although some parasites are also using the afsrc flag on their links as well.

    If the networks and the COC really want to protect the work performed by non parasitic affiliates why wouldn't it be possible to provide another identifier that is saved in the cookie that identifies the last click being provided by a non parasitic affiliate....
    Something like &PO=0 (for parasite_overwrite=no). Currently, our work is only protected (if you believe it is protected) during the initial clickstream of a link being processed. Once a user revisits a site via a bookmark or direct type-in, the cookie is not protected at all and parasites still get to openly undermine our work and overwrite our cookie which I consider as still very unfair.

    The networks know who the parasites are, why wouldn't it be possible to make the use of &PO flag off limits to them and any time a cookie is requested to be written, it can be determined if an cookie currently exists and if so, it can be inspected for a &PO value and the affiliate id cross referenced to see if the cookie is being requested by a parasite or not and allow / disallow the cookie to be overwritten or not based on these parameters. I have no problem with a parasite getting credit from their work but only when a consumer visits a merchant site directly or from their links and they are not unfairly benefiting from promotional data and work non parasitic affiliates have provided.

    If consumers who installed these applications knowingly are executing links directly from the parasites site or visiting merchants site directly, the PO flag would not exist and they can be fairly rewarded for their work just like we are.

    The current protection provided by the COC and networks to non parasitic affiliates falls way short IMO. I for one would like to see the protection offered to be more encomasing in ensuring our work is not so easily undermined even after a cookie has been written.

    This may not a perfect solution and I doubt any network would really entertain the idea but I do believe it offers further protection that "the majority of affiliates would desire".

    I would welcome comments from other affiliates and any network representitive or a COC representive in regards to this topic and the potential for it being considered to protect the work of their non parasitic partners.

    Protection of the inital clickstream only for non parasitic affiliates is UNACCEPTABLE and should hardly even be considered protection IMO.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    That post looks familiar.

    Glad to see you back

  3. #3
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Mansfield, TX
    Excellent solution. Let's see if we hear from any networks.

    Note that in some cases, the network sets the cookie. In other cases, the merchant sets the cookie. When the merchant sets the cookie, they would need to be able to determine if it's a parasite as well, and take the same action.

  4. #4
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    St Clair Shores MI.
    Your logic and solution Poon is correct. The network and CoC enforcers response is as predictable as well. The overiding problem is the networks and BHO refuse to eliminate the double dipping of merchant budgets by setting cookies on non-commissionable actions.

    No network has come forward to even address the "poorman's BHO" blind cookie setting from SERP landing pages, PPCSE or internal affiliate site's 1x1 pixel or popunder off focus merchant site loads. Anything that earns the network a buck without getting them sued is perfectly OK....ethics get no play in the mass advertising world.

    Notice how the long thread on The SAFE HAVEN network structure petered out when it came to setting up something that didn't allow affiliates to play tricks for clicks or AM's to play diversion games. No one could solve the riddle ...even with hints... because they didn't really want a level playing field.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

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