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Thread: buy.at Unveils New Technology to Address Cookie Overwriting

  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador Amy Ely's Avatar
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    Lightbulb buy.at Unveils New Technology to Address Cookie Overwriting
    A high profile topic in the affiliate industry, cookie overwriting sparks debate around which affiliates deserve a commission payout based on the nature of their involvement in the conversion process. Up to this point, the “last click” model always wins, which has caused concern when some affiliates – namely browser add-ons, toolbars and plug-ins – use promotional methods that have a greater tendency to capture those “last clicks” than others.

    Challenges Drive Innovation
    We are pleased to announce the release of a new “soft click cookie” tracking solution. With this technology, affiliates running a promotional method that may have a greater tendency to overwrite other affiliate cookies at the final stages of a user’s journey – namely browser add-ons, toolbars, and plug-ins – can be assigned a soft click cookie by the network that cannot overwrite cookies set by standard affiliate traffic.

    How it Works
    When an affiliate applies to join the network, an extensive review of their site and promotional methods occurs. If site evaluation reveals that the affiliate model could negatively impact existing affiliate cookies, a conditional acceptance to the network is offered using the soft click solution. Models which typically qualify for soft click status include browser add-ons, plug-ins and toolbars.

    The process is entirely transparent – all affiliates that fall within this category receive full disclosure that their account will operate using this technology and they must confirm their acceptance of these terms before they are admitted to the network. Upon mutual agreement, our team sets up and manages the tracking process. This course of action does not require any setup or implementation work from the affiliate; they can simply begin applying to our programs. The soft click cookie setting is assigned, tracked, and policed solely by our network.

    Further, our tracking now operates on an affiliate cookie hierarchy:

    Hard Click
    When a site visitor clicks on an affiliate link, a standard tracking cookie is set on their computer. If the visitor clicks on multiple affiliate links for the same advertiser, the last click overwrites the first cookie and receives the commission payment.

    Soft Click
    When a site visitor solely interacts with a link provided by a soft click cookie partner, the affiliate is awarded the commission payout in the normal way. If an affiliate cookie is already present prior to a customer’s interaction with the soft click affiliate, the original site with the hard click cookie receives the commission payment.

    If no hard click cookies are present, and more than one soft click cookie affiliate is involved in the conversion process, the last click model applies.

    Additional Benefits
    This soft click proposition will allow advertisers to work with soft click cookie affiliates without fear of adversely impacting existing affiliate relationships. It will also help those affiliates that provide real value to an advertiser during the early stages of the purchasing process, but are frequently over-written by technology that has a tendency to capture users late in the process.

    Accordingly, affiliates eligible for the soft click cookie solution can now continue conversations with advertisers that enforce a “no overwriting” policy. Initial responses to this technology are extremely positive, with affiliates saying that this solution is a “truly unique and exciting offering for the industry.”

    For more information please contact the buy.at team. Or, feel free to post in this thread.

    -Amy

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    Wow!
    Renée
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador
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    "With this technology, affiliates running a promotional method that may have a greater tendency to overwrite other affiliate cookies at the final stages of a user’s journey – namely browser add-ons, toolbars, and plug-ins – can be assigned a soft click cookie by the network that cannot overwrite cookies set by standard affiliate traffic."

    Has there been a change of policy? Because that's different from:

    "Simply put, we do not allow toolbars into the network that overwrite affiliate cookies, flash reminders, pop-ups, etc. or interfere with a customer’s web experience in any way under any circumstances."

    http://www.abestweb.com/forums/buy-4...rs-115794.html

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador superCool's Avatar
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    This sounds like a nice move in the right direction. Hope it works out well.

    Regarding this line
    When an affiliate applies to join the network, an extensive review of their site and promotional methods occurs.
    Does the review just happen once at the beginning of the relationship, or is there an ongoing aspect? What if the affiliate runs a few "nice" sites and then has other things going on that don't come up until later? Will there be follow-up reviews of some kind?

  5. #5
    Affiliate Network Rep Kim Salvino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust View Post
    "With this technology, affiliates running a promotional method that may have a greater tendency to overwrite other affiliate cookies at the final stages of a user’s journey – namely browser add-ons, toolbars, and plug-ins – can be assigned a soft click cookie by the network that cannot overwrite cookies set by standard affiliate traffic."

    Has there been a change of policy? Because that's different from:

    "Simply put, we do not allow toolbars into the network that overwrite affiliate cookies, flash reminders, pop-ups, etc. or interfere with a customer’s web experience in any way under any circumstances."

    http://www.abestweb.com/forums/buy-4...rs-115794.html
    Trust,

    I posted this on the Affiliate Summit forum, and am reposting the same here since it's the same question:

    We’ve never allowed malicious software or adware. We’ve required publishers with toolbars and add-on’s to leave buy.at merchants out, and we’ve monitored them to ensure adherence, knowing our efforts would require more effective solutions long-term. Knowing this stance, some have opted to promote buy.at merchants only on their site and some have opted not to work with us at all. We respect their decision, but rules are rules, and until soft click was put in place, the overwriting risk they posed to other affiliates was too great without a network enforced solution.
    Kim Salvino, Client Services Director, Performance Horizon Group
    Reach me at kim.salvino(at)performancehorizon.com or on (443) 617-4036

  6. #6
    Affiliate Network Rep Kim Salvino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superCool View Post
    This sounds like a nice move in the right direction. Hope it works out well.

    Regarding this line

    Does the review just happen once at the beginning of the relationship, or is there an ongoing aspect? What if the affiliate runs a few "nice" sites and then has other things going on that don't come up until later? Will there be follow-up reviews of some kind?
    superCool,

    This was also part of my post on the Affiliate Summit forum, so I'm reposting it here as well:

    All affiliates are assessed at the network application level, again at each program application level and then monitored and held accountable for their actions by our Network Quality Team. It’s important to note that affiliates that fall within the soft click placement are placed there by the network, so there is no chance of merchant’s getting “accidentally” added to a toolbar they weren’t supposed to be included in, or for the software to fail “testing” or revert to malicious behaviors on weekends/during the wee hours. This is a network level action to avoid overwriting for other affiliates.

    If you have any other questions, please ask!
    Kim Salvino, Client Services Director, Performance Horizon Group
    Reach me at kim.salvino(at)performancehorizon.com or on (443) 617-4036

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