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  1. #1
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    I signed up as a publisher of a CJ merchant that rents cars. I now see that on some pages of the car rental site there are banner ads for other CJ merchants.

    The question is: After I direct one of my customers to the car rental merchant, if that customer clicks on one of the CJ banner ads, does the customer's CJ cookie get overwritten with the merchant's info and eliminate me from receiving any commissions from that customer?


  2. #2
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Regardless of how cookies work I wouldn't work with any merchant that attempts to send your traffic to another merchant. Your cookies won't be overwritten as long as they don't have their own affiliate banners running on their site but still these people aren't worth anyone's time or bandwidth.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    There are actually two cj cookies that overlap each other. They are:

    commission-junction[?].txt and qksrv[?].txt

    Tracking cookies contain the keyword QKINFO followed by a series of numbers such as:

    The data above is encypted but is represented as follows:
    1111 - Is the cj merchant id.
    22222- is the AID (identifies the particular link that was clicked on from the cj system)
    3333 - Is the PID for the affiliate that owns the link clicked.
    4444444 - Contains date time information and possibly something else.

    I never have paid any attention to the 120-NA part. No - the 120 is not the cookie duration. My guess is that the time data may be increased as needed to accomodate the cookie duration when the cokie was created.

    The cj cookies can contain multiple cookies for multiple merchants. For example delete the qksrv and commission junction files, reboot and then click on a cj link you'll see the data following QKINFO only represents one merchant.

    Now, click on another cj merchants and watch what happens. The data for the new merchant cookie is simply appended to the end of the initial cookie info : IE:

    Now the cj cookie has cookie data for two different cj merchants.

    Is this more than you wanted LOL?

    In short, just because you clicked on another cj link does not mean the initial cookie it contained was destroyed. As noted above mutiple merchants cookies just keep getting appended in the format as explained above.

    Other notes: Non Batch merchants rely on tracking info from the cj cookies files but can also write out their own cookie too (most non batch merchants do not create a merchant level cookie in addition to the cj cookie - "I'm reluctant to say all here"). For batch related merchants, they do not rely on the cj cookie in reporting sales but it is still updated in addition to the primary merchant level cookie file is created as well and that they use on their end.

    Other tidbits, if you manualy delete the cj cookies and don't reboot - they will show back up "with data for the new link clicked on" as well as "all the previous data". No, it doesn't help against cookie washers as I once suspected. Cookie washers are normally run at startup before anything is clicked so the cookie info is not cached when the delete is performed at startup.

    With the information above you can watch how the file changes over a series of clicks and glean other information on the internals of the cookie itself. IE: What happens when you have a tracking cookie set for merchantx, goto merchanty who has an affiliate link for merchantx that is clicked on. You can see what happens and how the cookie is impacted (look at the PID portion and you'll see it changed to the PID for the other affiliate. Click on the same link and you'll see the AID does not change while if you click on a different link you can see what changed.

    Please note that I only know these details and look for abuse on cookies because I am an unethical affiliate myself (at least as some have stated recently).

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Poon is right, no need to be paranoid
    But when it comes to CJ, too many things stink... so caution is good.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    I have tended to email merchants who have ads on their site - some listen, some don't. But at least they get to know what I think about it.

    Thats when their emails work of course. One this week just bounces....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    happypoon said: Is this more than you wanted LOL?

    No, but it's more than I expected. Thanks for the education!!!

    BTW, What have you done that makes you an unethical affiliate, if you don't mind my asking?

    Thanks again!

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    I use datafeeds LOL.

    I normally just pass off on the many "blanket statements" made around here but somehow I couldn't resist the tempation on this one.

    The quote was something like "anyone who uses datafeeds is unethical". Myself, I find the statement "Very enlightening information and a real contribution to all the other great information here on ABW."

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