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  1. #1
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    Sales tracking with Flash Cookies
    Hi,

    I am a publisher by Shareasale. I was recently searching on the techniques of tracking the sales used by different affiliate networks. I found this very useful information that many of the affiliate networks are already using different tracking systems, Flash cookies are one of them.

    Now many will ask what the heck are Flash cookies now. Well I found this very interesting post h**p://w*w.imasuper.com/66/technology/flash-cookies-the-silent-privacy-killer/

    After reading it and seeing these FLASH COOKIES on my system from many of 100 big players in the industry (GOOGLE, YAHOO, YOUTUBE, FACEBOOK and so on............. the list of websites using flash cookies is very very long in between : check your computer for flash cookies here :-> h**p://w*w.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager07.html). I thought about "if someone is using them for tracking the sales" I searched the web and found, many Aff. Networks are already using different tracking systems, one example I found is h**p://blog.paidonresults.com/tracking-methods-report.html

    A few facts about Flash cookies (Developed by Adobe/Macromedia):-

    1) Flash cookies or also called Local Shared Objects (LSO) are not very popular(very less people know about it yet). Even many Freaks or experienced computer users who use there computers for more than 12 hours a day, have no idea about these flash cookies yet.

    2) Flash cookies can store way more data than normal cookies, e.g. that means a server can be set to save all of returning visits information on the visitors own computer after every access of the site. Flash cookies are set to have upto 100kb of data as by default.

    3) Todays Antispyware programs can not block or delet Flash cookies.

    I searched in the help files of SAS and found they are using ONLY cookie tracking, Now as of my knowledge (what I was able to learn till now) there are two different methods of cookie tracking. One is SIMPLE cookie tracking, which is very old and unreliable, IMO no body is using today, the other one is called the ADVANCED cookie tracking which is what I think used in case of SAS(cookie or image beacon sent from the merchant thank you page back to affiliate network after the sale is made).

    Now I think there are some problems with this type of tracking

    1) The normal cookies can be deactivated in settings of the browser.

    2) MANY Spywares delete these TRACKING COOKIES as spyware (I use spybot search and destroy and I found that spybot has put the CJ server emjcd.com as blocked for putting cookies in all of my browsers i.e. Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera).

    3) The biggest problem of all them I assume is the RETURNING VISITORS Tracking!! I read online some time ago that more than 50% of sales are made by the people who do not buy on the first time!! They come back later after a day or two and buy. Now many people have set there brwosers like this that the cookies will be valid only till this session of the browser ends. Than the sales made later are not trackable.

    Well there are estimated 20% to 30% of sales which get lost because of above mentioned reasons. Here this Flash cookies tracking can be very handy and useful in favour of Affiliate Network and Publishers, so that they can be really credited for the sales they made.

    I don't want to make any panic or I am not blaming any one, I am new to affiliate marketing and trying to learn the things and new techniques by discussing them. Will be thankful for the others comments, suggestions and critics. What I think is, If FLASH COOKIES are combined with JAVA SCRIPTS, it can be a VERY USEFUL tool.

    thanks
    twikker.


    EDIT : ONE more benefit of using this tracking can be, onecause and other parasite toolbars will be effectless on such tracking because than the sales will be tracked not only through normal cookies instead with flash cookies as well.

  2. #2
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    A very large number of people don't keep their flash updated so I actually see this a going backwards not forwards at all.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  3. #3
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    Hi Loxly,

    I see your point, but in my opinion it can be seen as an added feature(or extra measure) to really track more sales which happen through the affiliates. Specially giving the fact that many and many of sites are already using flash today and people do install that small adobe add on as an update every now and than(when it is updated by Adobe). I my self have updated that addon (I cant remember how many times I updated it but my assumption lies between more than 10 to 20 times or so) without knowing that what some people can do with flash. I don't say every one do update like me. But the system should be working if any body installed ONCE flash in there systems. Many Big companies are relying on this system and I don't think they are doing so without thinking or without the success of this system.

    And I see another benefits of using additional tracking method that I mentioned above at the end of the post, cookie overwriting through parasites and a plus in registerd sales can be a good points to make. It is I think in best interests of the Publishers, I don't know if more genuine money earned through this type of tracking will make a big difference for Affiliate network but for the small publishers (who always dream of doing his better to make some more money) It will be worth.

    twikker.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Adarsh's Avatar
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    I know a little about flash cookies and I need to mention that it "does not" make any difference whether you have your flash updated or not. The flash cookies are stored on your computer anyway. So, this is a very good feature. Most computer users have flash installed. There would be almost none computer users who don't have flash installed on their computer.
    Very interesting topic, in fact, I wrote an article on my blog about "flash cookies", couple of days ago after researching a bit. I guess, someone from SAS can tell us if there are any Pros-Cons of using flash cookies as an additional feature to track sales.

    Regards.

  5. #5
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Good post twikker as I can see you have put a lot of thought into an important subject. I'm anxious to see what input SAS has. Make sure that the folks at AvantLink see your thread also.


  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Adarsh's Avatar
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    Indeed it is a very good topic. Something that amazed me, I am kind of nostalgic about what sort of cookies reside on my computer and I get rid of cookies as soon as I close my browsers. I'm not sure how far I am successful but I try to keep deleting cookies. But when I visited the flash cookies settings manager (h**p://w*w.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager07.html), I was shocked to see so many cookies stored on my computer. I'm talking of when I visited settings manager for the first time. I found it ridiculous for all that I have been doing to get rid of these cookies, but the flash cookies were on my computer since years. I'm pretty sure, if SAS or any other affiliate network used flash cookies, I would have found them in the list.

    Any how, it would be interesting to know what Affiliate Networks think about flash cookies.

  7. #7
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    Any tracking that relies on a browser having any kind of secondary program installed is a bad idea imo. Websites that include flash components are not necessarily even able to be used by a pretty large portion of web surfers.

    I understand that you are saying that the cookies can be set regardless, but I think that setting something that actually able to be blocked could have legal repercussion. Also the comment about javascript, again, many MANY web surfers have javascript disabled. More than what have cookies disabled.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  8. #8
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    We use an open source system for our in-house programs and flash cookies are one of four methods used to make redundant tracking. Not sure and will have to check how many sales are track exclusively via flash. What I tell you is that flash cookies are a valuable secondary tracking method. This system relies on the merchant to set first party cookies via a javascript. When the merchant changes their site and trumps the cookie tracking we are able track via flash. This has saved countless lost sales.

    Other redundant methods are:
    direct link tracking
    session variables
    merchant first party cookies

    We have seen IE8 block the traditional third party cookies. We removed it from our testing computer. IE represents 65% of the browsers used so this is significant.

  9. #9
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    Any tracking that relies on a browser having any kind of secondary program installed is a bad idea imo.
    Very good point you made here Loxly, But I think Flash is the future of internet h**p://w*w.flashmagazine.com/news/detail/how_many_sites_use_flash/ here we can find the survey of 3.4 million tested sites and it is also mentioned that flash is installed on 98% of all browsers.

    Another good point you mentioned about the legal aspect of using this technique, there I can unfortunately find no information. It can be better explained by some law specialist who is dealing with online privacy.

    And for the javascript usage I was able to find some information here h**p://w*w.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp they have not yet published the report for 2009, but the older results looks not that bad.

    For cookies usage I was unfortuately not able to find any information, I asked on statcounter as well if they can implement some method through which we can see also if the visitor has set his browser to accept cookies or to reject them. But it is unfortunately not possible, they responded.

    I am worried about the cookies that much because there are many scenarios where it can affect the affiliate commissions directly. And here IMO Flash cookies can help in the following cases.

    1) User has disabled the cookies for first party and third party.

    2) User has setup in the setteings that cookies are only saved for this session.

    3) User uses after every session some software like ccleaner to delete cookies.

    4) User has installed some other spyware like spyware doctor or spybot search and destroy, which generally blocks all tracking cookies in the browsers settings in list of blocked websites (because these anti spyware companies want to make money by making the users feel unsecure).

    5) One more reason can IMO be if the user changes the browser in the second session i.e. if he don't decides to buy the product with Internet explorer and changes to Firefox than the sale can not be tracked, because the old cookie was set on the Internet Explorer and user changed the Browser at the time of buying the product where no cookie is present. As flash cookies (I think : Not yet verified though) are set in a common Flash folder for all browsers (because when we delete the flash cookies through adobe website it reads all cookies from that one folder).

    I am also promoting one another big affiliate network(Za*ox), where they told me about this cookies problem and they also mentioned me that this is a big problem. They said they use two different methods of tracking the sales 1) Session Tracking and 2) Cookie tracking. I think any affiliate network who is dealing with these things should be aware of these problems. Since than I am trying to find a better solution for these problems. I have also send them an email with this flash cookies tracking method and they said there technical team will take a look into that.

    In my research of "affiliate network trackig methods" (search this in google if you are interested) I came across different methods of tracking, IP Tracking and Fingerprint Tracking are one of them. There are many others as well. IMO Affiliate networks are using these methods with success because they see some benefit in these.

    To : John Powell

    Thanks for your encouragement, I have informed Avantlink. Gary has passed this thread to there technical team, we will wait for there research and response.

    I'm from Germany, English is not my first language, please pardon mistakes.

    Thanks for your responses.
    twikker

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Adarsh's Avatar
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    Wow, that's good amount of information. I guess, you have researched enough on this subject twikker. That's really good that affiliate networks are taking interest in this thread.
    I have a strong feeling that using flash cookies will definitely help tracking the sales better.

    Regards.

  11. #11
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    Hi Chuck,

    Thanks for your views on Flash cookies(good to hear that someone is using this already and it is an important tracking method), sorry for my ignorance but I was not able to find if you are talking about some merchant or about an affiliate network where these or one of these methods are used (As you can see from my number of posts I am a little new here and you are looking to me very frequently present here on abestweb forum, I can assume that many people know here who you are. I tried to find this out in your profile but unfortunately found no information if you are a merchant, websites designer or an Affiliate network employee).

    We have seen IE8 block the traditional third party cookies. We removed it from our testing computer. IE represents 65% of the browsers used so this is significant.
    I know about that Internet Explorer since version 8(or 7 I think!!) blocks the third party cookies by DEFAULT. Firefox on the other hand looks like not blocking third party cookies by default(checked straight away on opensource.sourceforge.net web site). What do you mean by "We removed it from our testing computer"? As you mentioned IE is used still by 65% of the people online than why not to do more testings on IE instead of removing it?

    Thanks for your reply,
    twikker.

    To : Adarsh

    Thanks for your encouragement, I am testing the things in this direction now around two weeks already. IMO it is a topic which every Publisher should be aware of, I actually see it as the basic right of a publisher to be able to know the techniques used by the affiliate network which he is promoting(dealing).

    Specially given the fact that there are inbetween many big crooked affiliate networks who just rips the publishers off(there are many examples available online "affiliate network scam"). I my self feels betrayed by an affiliate network which I was promoting for almost one and a half year(with no sales to very less sales). IMO affiliate networks should also not have any problem discussing these things, many good affiliate networks like SAS do put these things in there help files and there are many other affiliate networks who dont care at all for the publishers views.

    twikker

  12. #12
    Full Member lintlin's Avatar
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    There was a thread about this a little earlier, as there may be new EU legislation going through that makes website owners ask the user for permission each time they set a cookie

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...=cookie+europe

    There was some information in there about flash cookies, and other tracking methods.

    I'm in Germany, too, Twikker, in the RheinMain area.

    ~~Stephenie

  13. #13
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    Thanks Stephenie for the other thread,

    Firstly I want to apologise for that I am from Austria(I actually wanted to write German Language) Graz.

    I have recently read a post on that already h**p://w*w.peterglaeser.com/the-end-of-tracking-cookies-in-europe/

    Here is one interesting comment from that thread by a member :

    After Google received the wrist-slap for tracking users of the .gov sites, and was told to *NOT* track users unless they click on the video — they told the public that they had made this change, but it was a lie. Instead of Google removing the tracking cookie, they merely changed its form. Now they don’t use a standard web cookie, they switched to using an Adobe Flash based cookie, which is much, much harder to detect and remove. Very few people even know of the existence of Flash cookies!
    I don't know the real justice consequences of this(if any), but for me it looks almost impossible to implement such restrictions and laws which can effect many MILLION websites at once!! I know the politicians do what they think is right but affecting the business of many 1000's of big companies(in a negative way) will not be that easy IMO.

    If the law is implemented, the average user is going to get the WORST online experience he ever made(on calling every site if you get 5 to ten popups is going to get many pissed off, specially when most of them even don't know what cookies are!!). All of the older sites till date can not be and will not be updated to these new demands of the politicians.

    And than here comes this thread in question, the world is changing very fast and so the techniques. If a company is not able to hold the pace with the world it is not good for that company h**p://www.peterglaeser.com/good-bye-aol/

    I would like to John Jupp comment here if he knows Zanox using any more techniques which he pointed out in the above thread.

    Zanox (like Affiliate Window) is owned by Axel Springer. Both networks have alternatives to the traditional cookie in place.
    What I was able to get the information from the employees of Zanox is they are using Session Tracking, Cookies Tracking and also the Basket tracking (all of these techniques are listed on every merchant's program). I was not able to understand from the Zanox employees what this third technique Basket tracking exactly is(I can imagine, but that is not knowing the things 100%).

    twikker

  14. #14
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I strongly support using Flash Cookies and other methods as REDUNDANT tracking methods. By redundant, I mean that it tries every possible way to keep track of users and tracks back if ANY ONE of those methods works.

    The US-based networks are WAY BEHIND the curve on this. Most rely almost entirely on browser cookies (either from the network or the merchant), which is probably the least reliable tracking method.
    Michael Coley
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  15. #15
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    Thanks Michael for your opinion on this.

    As I thought it is not a topic which the people aren't aware of, what I don't see yet any comment from some one from SAS or Avantlink about this. As you said the US based networks are very slow on picking this up, this was one of my main reasons for starting this thread.

    As I mentioned before it is in the best interest of Affiliate Networks and also in the Publishers interest to get as much sales as possible (I know this is not possible to track 100% of the sales, but tracking the 95% or more sales is always better than tracking the 50%, 60% or 70% of the sales.) I won't say how many 1000's or 100,000 of sales SAS is making every month, but it is easy to sum up the amount if they register 10% or 20% more sales.

    We are all working for the money online and if we ourselves makes mistakes and we don't track all of the sales(specially when the softwares for that are already available or can be made by some good php or other language programmers than why not to do this?). With the time every one has to change there systems to advance with the new techniques, and I believe all publishers will be more than happy enough(and ultimately they will believe more in the affiliate network they are promoting) if they can see atleast 20% to 30% increase in there commissions with the same amount of traffic.

    twikker

  16. #16
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    There is an underlying core point that nobody has brought up I don't think, which is the desire and right to privacy. If a consumer continually asks for privacy (not to have cookies, not to be tracked, etc...) ... I think there is something to be said for respecting that. I think that our work in this area should focus on building quality and reliable tracking within the respected bounds of user privacy... and not trying to go beyond and around that.

    Besides that... Flash cookies are certainly a technical area that could be used, but the points made above about how they "aren't blocked by adblockers/adware removal tools" is not really a solid point, as it simply represents a very short term solution. Adware removal tools could simply update their software and the advantage would be gone.

    If the core issue of privacy is not addressed.... the problem will simply continue and we'll be talking about "Silverlight Cookies" next.

    I'd also like to point out that there are some statistics being used here that simply don't compare to research that we have.
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  17. #17
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    Thanks Brian for bringing some very important points up.

    I am also (I think) one of them who respects ethics in business, thats why tried to point the comments on google by that guy. I do understand that users wants privacy and don't wants to be tracked all the time for there activities(I am myself actually very careful in surfing and using hell lot of different things not to get tracked by google or some other big sites for my activities).

    But my other point is We do business online, and for that to work there will ALWAYS be some sort of tracking happening(other wise we can all close our websites and affiliate networks). As we see in the past how cookies are treated by some people as biggest privacy issue. e.g. Person "A" is getting tracked by a website for his activities what he bought or what terms he was looking for online. These informations can be used only to show him the things which already interest him. May be some companies even earn some money from this information by selling it to other companies. But what has happened to that person who is being tracked by these companies for many years, NOTHING.

    But the other companies(like antispywares) will try to make this a big issue so that they can do business with these people!! I became more cautious with cookies because I am working as a webmaster(and I really don't want to affect my site's rankings by giving google the information what terms I am searching for and from where I am getting my information to post on my sites, I don't know if it really affects my website in some way but believe is believe). Before I started making websites, I never gave a damn to the privacy as a normal user.

    I see also the websites like Google, Yahoo, Facebook, youtube (and others : A study made by UC Berkley Research shows that 54 of the top 100 websites uses these flash cookies!!) if these big websites have started using flash cookies, it shows me the trend is going in this direction.

    Further more cookies are used on many websites on BASKETS(Shopping Carts) for tracking sales, IMO no one can live without cookies(I know there are in between other techniques also available which do not use cookies for Shopping carts tracking, but updating ALL the older websites to new Software simply will not be possible). The cookies were actually created to do make tracking possible. One more note here I will like to made is I do put on all of my website a privacy policy!! where it is clearly stated that the users behaviour, who are using this website is getting tracked by the Stat counter and some other analytics software. I think every webmaster should do it.

    Here I will like to clear what actually Flash cookies are? A summary of the Flash cookies is: Flash cookies are also called LSO (Local Shared Object), This technique was developed by Adobe to give the webdevelopers a way to store the information on users computer e.g. If a user is watching a Flash film online on youtube and pauses in the half way, this information will be saved on users computer where he paused the film, So that the film can be started at the same point when he again pushes play. One more Real use of LSO (for what it actually developed was) is to give the game developers save the information about the game. Game developers are using this technique for a long time now.

    Now if some third party like e.g. Google or Yahoo use there brains and also save the tracking information in that, Adobe can not do any thing in that case. Torrents example can be compared to this, the technique was developed to download legal softwares, if some one else use it for illegal activities, you can't make the developer of the torrent responsible for that. In the case of cookies it is not even illegal at all.

    There are a few people who are already suggesting that Adobe should take care of this matter very seriously and should implement some GUI, when the flash software is installed it should ask for the cookies options (When this kind of measure will be implemented? it is totally in the hands of Adobe - if they want to do it at all!!). Some Other people are suggesting that IE and FF should implement some thing like flash cookies acceptance menu and third party flash cookies menu. When Microsoft will implement such options in Internet Explorer? (I think you can judge that better than me - may be many years). FF on the other hand(I think) can implement such options sooner than IE(But when? I don't know). So there are a lot of thoughts getting implemented in this direction to take the privacy as a serious matter.

    We are online only to do business(without any bad intentions). The statistics here shown in the above examples are with there proofs(I really don't know to which extent they are really true, but I tried always to get a proof of that what I am saying). As a single person I don't have much help as compared to you Brian. You are in this business for a long time and dealing with the Specialists of this industry on every day basis. I accept if you say these stats are not 100% correct, because you have made other experiences. But as I stated before, if the use of an additional technique can even improve the sales by 10% it can sum up to big numbers.

    May be you can help me to answer one of my questions related to statistics, which I am since last few days very interested in "How many percent of sales registered by SAS are made by Internet Explorer and How many percent sales are registered by SAS for Firefox?"



    twikker
    Last edited by twikker; January 21st, 2010 at 06:10 PM.

  18. #18
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    The simple fact of the matter is there are numerous ways to track. Moreover in the coming days there will be even more mechanisms. None of which, at present, truly address the core issue - Privacy.

    There are two sides to this debate -

    1 - Cookies provide advertisers with more information so ads can be targeted. Giving the user a better experience.

    2 - Cookies take away the privacy the internet is meant to offer.

    Year after year we hear about how the next version of a browser will default to disabling cookies (regardless of whether you talk about FF, IE, Chrome, etc.).

    But we can also assume that there will always be a tracking...I am not an expert by any means on what tracking mechanisms work best. Nor could I definitively say what means will be used in the future...but I most certainly can say that there will be tracking.

    Here at buy.at and at AOL we have a number of Privacy Advocates working for us, so we are extremely careful about where we go from here.

    One of our former team leads has since left AOL but runs a Facebook Group -

    All About Cookies (the HTTP Kind) http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#/g...gid=6400544754

    The group is very in the know as to what's going on from a privacy perspective.

    Overall the network's view is very simple, until some decisions are made regarding how to best protect people's privacy we will not be able to make decisions on what is to come in the Great Cookie Debate.



    c3

  19. #19
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    there are networks from europe which participate in this forum, WG, Buy.at, AF and Zanox (i dont know if i forgot anyone).

    i believe you should try and get some advise from them as they are now most of them using (a combination of every tracking possible) lately and have included to their "tracking mix" what they "call"... cookieless tracking... and you are still here talking about flash cookies?

    not to mention about the dedumbing methods they have in use...

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador Adarsh's Avatar
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    No offence meant to anyone, I wish to raise a question here ...

    All networks have been using the "browser cookies" to track sales. There are some networks that use other methods for tracking sales, but lets just talk about simple browser cookies. Now, practically and legally, websites/networks are supposed to provide information to users, members and website visitors about Privacy Policy.

    Why don't we do same with flash cookies? A clause in "Privacy Policy" can always be added (or asked to be added) that provides information about flash cookies and how users can disable them "if they wish to do so"?

    Flash cookies can be used to track sales, provided, things are done within the bounds of law. What is the harm in using flash cookies if they are used for the sole purpose of tracking sales, nothing else? IMHO, flash cookies can be used, provided, we inform users/visitors about it and provide information about disabling them, if they wish to do so.

    Regards.

  21. #21
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    Thanks Charlie for your views about this.

    On one point almost all of the people here will be of one meaning. Tracking can not be given up, Tracking is exactly our business. The second thing the Advertisement will also always be there, if some one wants to buy an LCD TV and he is presented with ads which include a speciall offer to his interested item it is not bad at all.

    I am exactly trying to point the same privacy issue, as you mentioned you are working with many advocates than please ask them or better write them an email to comment on this thread. What are there views about this cookie debate, what do they think how long we should wait for the politicians to make a decision about cookies? Can there be in year 2010 a decision expected or in year 2011 or 2012. How long should we wait of there decision to make our business run better? What decision can we even expect from them(if they simply decide for Microsoft or FF to implement measures for users, or even for adobe to take some action - becaus I can't see that they will ask every webmaster to do any thing against that) than we would say we were waiting for three years(if they really come to any decision in these three years!!) only to see this happen and not to take action to get the sales tracked properly.

    Other companies like Google, who takes the privacy very seriously IMO(If you have heared the recent discussion about Google leaving China), have already started using these methods on different platforms of Google!! What do you say about Amazon. There are many who are using these techniques, if they should have seen any big issues in this they would have not started already. As Michael and Chuck have already pointed out that these tracking methods are very vital (I think people who are already dealing with these methods knows about that these extra measures do pay out).

    What I was expacting here from Avantlink, SAS, buy.at, Zanox(I am affiliated with all these and GAN as well) and others to discuss there tracking methods, as I mentioned before, after talking to Zanox persons I found the above mentioned methods(they were though not aware of any Finger Print tracking which is already discussed on an affiliate's blog and was commented by one of there clleague a few years back). SAS has also pointed in there help files (none of any other methods have been mentioned by them here in this thread yet). Will wait for the reaction by buy.at and Avantlink.

    I have read in between too many posts in forums and as well on blogs about the sales not getting tracked properly(publishers did the test buys), I don't blame any body here but in most cases it is the system which has its restrictions and is some how old(that's why many are jumping up to the newer systems, as also you mentioned there will be more of these tracking systems in the near future). For an Affiliate network it is not a very big deal if a few sales not getting tracked(even these sales are also not less, these can affect the revenues of affiliate networks to some big extent) but for publishers these sales do matter in a big way. A publisher can test one or two sales in a week to have an idea of what is going on, but if all the sales are getting tracked for the rest of the week or rest of the month, this is not in his hands (and if the tested sales made by publisher don't gets tracked due to some system problems he will become very suspicious!!). Publisher has to make its decision regarding the statistics he gets together.

    If I read these issues on blogs or forums every where including abestweb forum experienced publishers(who already have done these testings) always suggests NOT to promote the fraud(parasite) affiliate networks. This is why I am trying to address this Flash cookies method and other methods here to the affiliate networks which I think are ethical in there business. So that we can talk together and develop some method which is much more reliable.

    To KGP : Thanks for mentioning about all the affiliate networks here on abestweb forum, here on this thread exactly this is what I am trying to get more information about what methods are bein used. If you have any source or some more information about cookieless tracking than please refferer that here(I will also try to dug more information about this tracking and who is using this).

    Regards
    twikker

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador
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    european networks are reluctant to talk in detail regarding the way they implement their tracking for obvious reasons. its not so hard to find general info though.

    but they at least some information about it (more than the american ones) and more or less they use all methods of tracking from the "old standard" cookie up to cookieless tracking. thats why you would very rarely see topics regardin tracking commissions on the european forums related to affiliate marketing (and especially on a4u which i am a member as well) ... if you see something is going on usually at merchants ends.

  23. #23
    Newbie
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    Thanks KGP,

    It looks to me you are already searching in this direction for some time(as you have this information about the tracking methods of affiliate networks). I have already joined up with affiliates4u and also made a request to zanox team to comment. I don't see any reason that they should not talk these things in open, specially to there publishers!! As I mentioned before I talked to the German Office, they werer very polite and good in their support, but I can understand that not every employee have(or interested in having) all the information. But they were very helpful to me with my questions.

    On the other response of your related to information in forums about european affiliate networks, From zanox blog (blog.zanox.com i think) you will find many links to the other blogs(in german language) who are discussing these methods very frequently.

    regards
    twikker

  24. #24
    Newbie
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    May 7th, 2009
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    Flash Cookies Benefits
    Hi,

    Was researching further on the flash cookies and came across this post h**p://w*w.peterglaeser.com/small-networks-set-the-standards/

    Some important points from this post and facts about flash cookies,

    After UK-based AffiliateFuture the German 2nd-tier affiliate network belboon has also introduced a tracking technology based on local shared objects, also widely known as “Flash cookies”. Back then AffiliateFuture observed a 7% increase in conversions.
    EDIT : (Affiliate Future is also present on abestweb forum - as I already mentioned before many Affiliate networks have upgraded there systems of tracking and already using these newer tracking systems, I will ask them to comment on flash cookies and other methods they use for tracking).

    As I Guessed,

    Traditional browser cookies are stored in separate folders for different browsers. Flash cookies are always stored in the same folder, no matter which browser you’re using. That way the tracking works even if a user switches between browsers.
    KGP may be some interesting reading for you here h**p://w*w.100partnerprogramme.de/forum/affiliate-talk/2564-wo-sind-meine-sales.html

    For all other publishers some interesting reading (the translation of the above page, I hope the link works) http://translate.google.com/translat...ml&sl=de&tl=en

    twikker

  25. #25
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    3,657
    twikker,

    Unless you have an objection - I'd like to move this to the general forum area here on ABW as it may get more attention from everyone as opposed to being here in the ShareASale forum.
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

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