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  1. #1
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    I just spend the afternoon with some friends and watched them surf the web. These are folks that shop online and are not totally web illiterate. They have a nice new Dell laptop with McAffee antivirus installed and every time they go to a webpage a red box pops up in the corner and says, tried to set a cookie, accept or reject. What do you think they did? They rejected cookies automatically. I explained that when they do that I don't make money from the links they clicked on. So they accepted the cookies I said were ok to accept.

    Joe public is being taught all cookies are bad and is doing what my friends are doing. What other ways are affiliate sales able to be tracked? I think the cookie days are coming to an end sooner rather than later.....
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  2. #2
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    Oddly, some of the people being helped by this are people running cpm ads, as the cookie is not being set so ads just keep being sent, instead of only so many for a certain period etc.

    So if someone 6 months earlier had looked and guessed where all this was heading, spending the last 6 months working on cpm/cpc content sites would be smiling and understanding the dynamics of the CPA business is in an upheaval and will need sometime to sort it all out. So might as well cash in on a good ad season, with political banners etc pushing cpm rates back up. Of course some people block ads as well, but that percentage seems much less.

    Next up. I give boring old datafeed sites that offer nothing but the merchants text back to the visitor 12 months tops before they are useless. So ride them hard now, because the writing is on the wall.

    Chet

  3. #3
    http and a telephoto
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    Actually, I forgot to mention that every site we visited that had adsense on it had altads or public service announcements instead of real ads also. These are pages that are always showing ads, so not sure what is up with that. Unless adsense tosses out a cookie that is being blocked also.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  4. #4
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Joe public is being taught all cookies are bad and is doing what my friends are doing. ~Deborah <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    That sucks big time. There's a lot of money tied up in the cookie duration. I wonder what's with these anti-cookie places?!

    Also, how are people able to shop without accepting any cookies? I thought that a lot of shopping carts would break if their cookies are refused.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Unless adsense tosses out a cookie that is being blocked also. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    When I checked my cookies, I remember seeing one for each AdSense ad that I had actually clicked (I didn't click any on my own sites, of course), but I don't remember finding any that came from just seeing an adsense ad...

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>some of the people being helped by this are people running cpm ads, as the cookie is not being set so ads just keep being sent, instead of only so many for a certain period etc. ~Chet <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Ah, THAT explains why I'm seeing so many popunder imps lately.

    I don't particularly like that, though. It'll make visiting that site of mine overly annoying if the people get a pop on *every* page. I guess I won't worry about it though, since XP SP2 is going to block pops soon anyway.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Next up. I give boring old datafeed sites that offer nothing but the merchants text back to the visitor 12 months tops before they are useless. So ride them hard now, because the writing is on the wall. ~Chet
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It does seem like it's time to come up with a better way to implement datafeeds, and getting rid of the same old merchant text that everyone else has is high on my list.

    I do think that the feeds themselves will remain useful, though!

    I know of no other way to push 100,000 or so different products individually without feeds. I wouldn't want to miss out on all those "Obscure Paisley Widget, Model 10G" searches, since they add up to quite a bit of cash once they're all put together.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  5. #5
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    Oscommerce requires a cookie before someone can buy from our store so all sales will be credited by us.

    If a buyer doesnt allow cookies, it explains how to accept them so the customer can continue.

  6. #6
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    Leader let me be clear, I think data feed sites will remain being important. But datafeed sites that do nothing but regurgitate the same merchant content - those I don't see as lasting.

    I think of it this way. Anyone can list every name in the phone book. That isn't valuable. What is valuable is the person who puts those in an easy to lookup format.

    You can either change the content, or how it is assembled.

    Google goes thru fits of showing just public service ads, one of the reasons why, even though on some sites i have a very high ecpm, I don't trust them as a stable main supplier of income.

    Chet

  7. #7
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    I've been concerned about this for some time now. Isn't there some other way merchants and/or networks could track where sales are coming from rather than using cookies? Surely there must be a way. Maybe some of the better known AM around here - Chris, Andy, Linda, Akiva, etc. could start checking into this. I imagine whoever comes up with a different/better system first would be able to attract and keep new and bigger affiliates.

  8. #8
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    I have been concerned about cookie tracking for a long time due to many other reasons as well. The main one being that with IE all someone has to do is clear cookies when they clear cache. I bet a lot of people do this.

    The only other way I know of to track is IP tracking which has it's own set of issues. Many surfers don't have a single IP, some ISPs keep changing the IP. Plus I think IP tracking only works for a single session. Without that little cookie I din't think you can give credit months later. I know one company that is working on a solution where they use cookies and backup with IP tracking but again it's not foolproof. I would LOVE it if someone found a better way.

  9. #9
    I like traffic lights
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    I think the whole cookie concept was ruined by the 3rd party cookie, where people used a webstats "counter" on their site and the counter provider cookied the surfer to track their surfing habits, and same with 2rd party banner adverts.

    That was a REAL privacy concern, and unfortunately places like CJ got lumped into the same pot.

    I feel the way around this cookie problem is for the affiliate to send the surfer direct to the merchants site, with their ID embedded in the URL. The affiliates web server at the same time sends an out-of-band message to CJ/wherever informing that a clickthrough has occurred (giving the relevant details.

    The merchant cookies the surfer and sends an out-of-band message to CJ that it has occurred.

    If/when the surfer purchases/whatever, a further message is sent to CJ by the merchant's server and the affiliate is credited.

    This requires more behind-the-scenes programming (no 3rd party cookies involved and no 1x1 pixel images being used to log info to CJ's system), but in this day of cookie destruction AND host blocking, it may be neccessary.

  10. #10
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    Would Drewbert's plan work? Anyone know how to set something like this up? I wouldn't know where to begin.

    Is there no way to do it by the merchant or network keeping track of every domain we have links to a particular merchant on. Then by tracking the referrer url and following the surfer through the merchant site: the domain, and therefore the affiliate, associated with a particular sale could be tracked.

  11. #11
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Legit cookies, like those set and used by all the shopping cart programs, is the key to the cookie blocking problem.

    Try blocking display or hijacking this link, and resulting cookie set, with any anti-spyware/adware or firewall product activated...

    http://www.cartserver.com/afl.cgi?c=...tom@mysite.com

    No one else in this industry has the solution/answer and no one is willing to support it or pay for it because of the source. Me and Charlie.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  12. #12
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Bubbles:
    Maybe some of the better known AM around here - Chris, Andy, Linda, Akiva, etc. could start checking into this. I imagine whoever comes up with a different/better system first would be able to attract and keep new and bigger affiliates. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I have already been looking at this scenario for a while and have a few things in the works. One of them has not worked and was scrapped but the other 2 seem promising.

    I'm sure other AM's have had the same idea...nothing ready for prime time but I'm very active in the kitchen....

    This industry evolves daily and you need to keep up and stay ahead of the curve...
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
    www.andyrodriguez.com | E: abw@andyrodriguez.com | P: (888) 931-ANDY (2639) | Skype: affiliatedoctor | AIM & MSN: AffiliateDoctor | Subscribe To Our ABW Forum Posts | Follow me on Twitter | Join Our Affiliate Programs

  13. #13
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Also, how are people able to shop without accepting any cookies? I thought that a lot of shopping carts would break if their cookies are refused <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    They will do what they have to in order to complete the purchase, but by then the cookie from our referring site is long gone.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  14. #14
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    Cookies set by the merchant are as old as affiliate marketing on the web - Amazon's program has always worked this way - hardly a mike invention. And they are the only solution and even then not 100%. Users can always choose to refuse the cookie from the merchant.

    (just to clarify, unique landing pages on the merchant site for each affiliate also do work and if done right, can help in buyer retention)

    Anything else, will not get the user when they come back for the next visit.

    Which is why making site visitors want to visit is important. And why i started saying a year ago - i treat all merchants as single day cookies. It is the only way to stay sane.

    Chet

  15. #15
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Would Drewbert's plan work? Anyone know how to set something like this up? I wouldn't know where to begin. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Hmm,

    http://abw.infopop.cc/eve/ubb.x?a=tp...5&m=2546062385

    ...or an in-house program...

  16. #16
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by bcc:
    http://abw.infopop.cc/eve/ubb.x?a=tp...5&m=2546062385

    ...or an in-house program... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    It would be nice if some merchants would move in that direction.

    And if an in-house program sets cookies, it is still the same problem.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  17. #17
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>And if an in-house program sets cookies, it is still the same problem. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    If all cookies are blocked then we are all screwed no matter what we do. That would be the end of the pay-for-performance marketing. But I don't think that will happen any time soon.

    I was talking about certain software blocking links from particular domains. It's not hard to make a small list of major networks and block them.

    But if (networked) merchants used proxy scripts, then all cookies would come from different domains - so it won't be possible to block them without blocking all cookies.

    Besides, if such scripts were designed in a way that allowed merchants to add their tracking extensions - there would not be a need for in-house programs. Sales and payments would be handled by the networks, while the merchants would get all the tracking data they might ever need.

  18. #18
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    This is not blocking links or cookies by domain, that is why it is such a threat. It is asking the user to accept ANY cookies from ANY site. And the knee jerk reaction by the consumer is to click "reject". If they are prompted that they need to click "accept" to complete the purchase, the merchant gets the sale and the affiliate tracking cookie was NEVER set.

    So, yes, we need a new way to track referrals and soon or pay per performance affiliates are going down.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  19. #19
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>If all cookies are blocked then we are all screwed no matter what we do. That would be the end of the pay-for-performance marketing. But I don't think that will happen any time soon. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Please re-read my first post. This is happening *NOW*. People are blocking all cookies and deleting all cookies.

    Cookie tracking needs to be replaced with something different and now, not sometime in the future.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  20. #20
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    Andy - Please keep us updated on your progress with this!

    Loxly:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> <span class="ev_code_RED">This is happening *NOW*. People are blocking all cookies and deleting all cookies. </span> <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    I agree - this issue needs to be addressed now, not later.

  21. #21
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    Have there ever been studies to show how important cookies are to affiliates income ?
    What ratio of an affilates sales are due to cookies as opposed to the surfer having his credit card ready to buy ?

    In certain other sectors of affiliate marketing there are no such things as cookies. You would just hope joe average has his wallet at hand when he clicks on your affiliate link with your id in the url.

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador mailman's Avatar
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    How about a explaination of what cookies are for visitors that land on our sites that we could post.
    Valued Customer.This is an independent site whois income is derived from your support.When you visit one of our merchants a COOKIE is placed on your computer. What is a COOKIE?
    BLH BLAH.
    This could be written by one of the members here who is good at writing good content

  23. #23
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    Hi all... I'm reading this thread with a lot of interest.

    If anyone would love to throw together an article about the cookie's current situation or its importance for publication in the Digital Moses Confidential, we'd love to get some affiliates or AM's point of view (or for that matter any situation that you think the rest of the online direct response world needs to know about from the affiliate marketing point of view!).

    Awareness really is the only way this can work out for the best.

    If you'd like to contribute, shoot me an email (sam@digitalmoses.com).

  24. #24
    Full Member webpartner's Avatar
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    Drewbert...

    The url tracking method that you mentioned has been used by sitesell for
    years and I am very happy with it... Since they offer lifetime commissions and
    there’s really no such thing as a “lifetime cookie”, they had to do it a different
    way... Here’s what the link looks like...
    http://aff-masters.sitesell.com/shop-etc.html"
    The visitor/buyer referred to sitesell is placed in their database along with the
    url of the page that they came from... if you click it you'll notice that the sending url appears for a split second and then resolves to their url... that's because the affiliate senders url is being registered in the sitesell database... works great...

    Now this is an in-house program, but it could easily send a message to a
    network to notify them that an action has taken place, or the networks
    themselves could adapt it... This is the kind of tracking that we need...

    Even though the parasites could no longer overwrite cookies, they could still
    rip us off because they recognize urls... which means that the networks
    shouldn't object because they can still make the big bucks from 180 and
    whenu...

    Cookies...? Cookies...? We don’t need no stinking cookies...
    <Font size="1" color="99000">Never doubt anybody's word for anything... but... Always double check everything... - Grandpa</font>

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