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  1. #1
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    In today's big cookie-stuffing thread, Todd says (referring to affiliate links being opened when users click on navigation interface items not obviously linking directly to merchants) "This specific issue (in this thread) is getting blown out of proportion."

    As to whether that thread is getting blown out of proportion, I could argue either side, but I thik Todd has a reasonable point here.

    On the other hand, there's the bigger problem of cookie-stuffing generally. Yesterday I made half a dozen videos, showing half a dozen major CJ merchants being ripped off my half a dozen different CJ affiliates using cookie-stuffing (popunders and IFRAMEs). All these affiliates had high search result rankings (always top 20, often top 5 or even top 3) for phrases like "[merchant name] coupons".

    I sent these videos to the corresponding merchants, all of whom had previously asked me to keep them updated about these sorts of problems. My sense is that all these affiliates are, according to CJ's system, in good standing.

    CJ, what are you doing to address this problem? If I can find these bad activities, with ordinary PC hardware and mere minutes of work, why can't CJ do it too?

    Meanwhile, I'm working on a way to get this data distributed more effectively. I've been thinking about designing a public web site that gives, by PID, videos and activity descriptions for scores of affiliates using these cookie-stuffing activities. Would any merchants find this helpful? At present I'm only doing this kind of work for specific merchants who have requested it, but distributing the data more widely might be that much better.

  2. #2
    Ad Network Rep ToddCrawford's Avatar
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    Ben,

    quote:
    CJ, what are you doing to address this problem? If I can find these bad activities, with ordinary PC hardware and mere minutes of work, why can't CJ do it too?


    Since I haven't seen your videos, I can't comment on what we know or what we are doing about it. Your post does not provide enough detail on what specifically is occuring.
    Todd Crawford
    Co-Founder, Impact Radius

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  3. #3
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    quote:
    Ben Edelman - I've been thinking about designing a public web site that gives, by PID, videos and activity descriptions for scores of affiliates using these cookie-stuffing activities. Would any merchants find this helpful? At present I'm only doing this kind of work for specific merchants who have requested it, but distributing the data more widely might be that much better.


    I'm not a merchant but I'm ready to pay for such a service. I've lost enough money to bad affiliates. The networks are not doing anything to clean that mess. OK, let's start the game.
    I'm sure, with that data, one day or an other, to recover my money. Are you ready to expose the offenders?

  4. #4
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    Fair enough, Todd; I too always like specifics. Let's take a specific example:

    Go to http://www.dailyedeals.com/free_onli...ns/crucial.htm (currently the #3 result for "crucial coupon" on Google).

    That page includes the following JavaScript code within its body HTML:

    wh = window.open('http://www.qksrv.net/click-340672-5033231','nwin');
    wh.blur();

    As expected, the first line opens a popup, then the second line sends the popup to the background (making it a popunder).


    This is a representative example -- one of half a dozen examples I captured in videos and packet logs within an hour of work yesterday. There are dozens more -- hundreds? But they're fast and easy to detect, either by hand or using software written for this purpose.

    I think it would be helpful 1) to explicitly confirm that this affiliate is using forced clicks, 2) to discuss what CJ will do to this affiliate specifically, 3) to discuss what CJ and others can do to stop this problem, so merchants don't pay excess / unearned commissions.

  5. #5
    Ad Network Rep ToddCrawford's Avatar
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    quote:
    I think it would be helpful 1) to explicitly confirm that this affiliate is using forced clicks, 2) to discuss what CJ will do to this affiliate specifically, 3) to discuss what CJ and others can do to stop this problem, so merchants don't pay excess / unearned commissions.
    I am having our Network Quality team look into this and will post a response shortly.

    Thank you,
    Todd Crawford
    Co-Founder, Impact Radius

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  6. #6
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    quote:
    I am having our Network Quality team look into this and will post a response shortly.



    One of the best answers I have ever seen from a network rep addressing such issues here.

  7. #7
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    quote:
    Originally posted by ToddCrawford, CJ.com:
    quote:
    I think it would be helpful 1) to explicitly confirm that this affiliate is using forced clicks, 2) to discuss what CJ will do to this affiliate specifically, 3) to discuss what CJ and others can do to stop this problem, so merchants don't pay excess / unearned commissions.
    I am having our Network Quality team look into this and will post a response shortly.

    Thank you,


    Ben,
    I say keep posting those sites. Maybe we can finally get some of this resolved. Thank you, Ben!!

  8. #8
    Ad Network Rep ToddCrawford's Avatar
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    Ben,

    I am not seeing them ranked in Google for the kw "crucial coupon". Can you shed some light?

    Google - "crucial coupon"
    Todd Crawford
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  9. #9
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    Third listing. First domain has 2 listings.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Nova's Avatar
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    put s with coupon (crucial coupons)see!

    What COC stand for? Crooks Overwriting Commission
    Don't worry tracking is Infected

    Live life to the fullest, You only get 1 chance. Enjoy it while you can... Nothing last forever!

  11. #11
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    quote:
    Originally posted by ToddCrawford, CJ.com:
    Ben,

    I am not seeing them ranked in Google for the kw "crucial coupon". Can you shed some light?

    http://www.google.com/search?q=cruci...utf-8&oe=utf-8


    Todd,
    They are number three in google.

  12. #12
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    2nd website (third position) for crucial coupon

    Crucial Technology Coupons - Discount Coupon Codes
    ... Crucial Coupons. Home > Online Coupons > Crucial Coupons. Featuring
    crucial coupon codes and the best crucial.com coupons! ...
    www.dailyedeals.com/free_online_coupons/crucial.htm - 15k - Cached - Similar pages

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador qball0213's Avatar
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    quote:
    Originally posted by ToddCrawford, CJ.com:
    Ben,

    I am not seeing them ranked in Google for the kw "crucial coupon". Can you shed some light?

    http://www.google.com/search?q=cruci...utf-8&oe=utf-8

    Wow, no wonder the networks have so much trouble.

  14. #14
    Ad Network Rep ToddCrawford's Avatar
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    infoseeker,

    I see techbargains.com listed as number three for the kw "crucial coupon" in Google. I do not see dailyedeals.com listed on the first page of results. I am looking at organic seach results, btw.
    Todd Crawford
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  15. #15
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Todd, get that SE hijacker software off your computer!

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador JJJay's Avatar
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    Want a screen shot?

  17. #17
    Ad Network Rep ToddCrawford's Avatar
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    I am not sure why I was unable to see them in the results. I ran the search 10 times and they were never in the rankings. Maybe it is geo targeted?

    qball, your link finally got me the results and I see them as third.

    Thanks,
    Todd Crawford
    Co-Founder, Impact Radius

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  18. #18
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    Glad to know CJ has a special Google server for their compliance team.

  19. #19
    Ad Network Rep ToddCrawford's Avatar
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    I use Firefox (and my IE 6 has SP2) so I usually do not see any java activated pop ups. I rely on Network Quality to analyze this. Although I get it, they have far more experience looking at this type of activity than I do (at least from a technical standpoint).
    Todd Crawford
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  20. #20
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    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q...=Google+Search

    dailyedeals.com is #3 for as well using "crucial coupon" google search on google.com
    One day parasites and their ilk will be made illegal, I bet a few Lawyers will be pissed off when the day comes.
    Mr. Spitzer is fetching it nearer

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  21. #21
    Pimp Duck popdawg's Avatar
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    "crucial coupons" not "crucial coupon"
    ================================================================
    Been away, now I'm back. Not as much, but I'm back & starting from scratch. Where I was, was fantastic. Where I am now, less so. Things have changed, become harder. So have I. Game ON!!!
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  22. #22
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    Thanks, folks.

    Incidentally, while we're all looking at the Google results for "crucial coupon", we might notice that the number one sponsored link is currently http://www.24houredeals.com/merchant...e&term=crucial . That URL redirects to http://www.24houredeals.com/coupons/...324/index.html and simultaneously opens a popunder of http://www.24houredeals.com/url/Coup...D=2598&afsrc=1 . This latter URL then does a HTTP 302 redirect to http://www.qksrv.net/click-1087301-5...=google-249647 . Video at http://www.benedelman.org/cookiestuf...ial-110204.wmv .

    So we see the number 1 sponsored link using cookie stuffing, and the number 3 "quality" link. I've checked three links on Google's results (the number 1 quality link, the number 3 quality link, and the number 1 sponsored link). two out of three were doing cookie-stuffing. What does that say about the scope of the problem?


    To be clear, this isn't just a CJ problem. Many LinkShare merchants are also similarly targeted. (Dell, whether through its own failure to police it sprogram or due to its high order sizes, seems to be particularly hard-hit.) Plenty of indepenent programs too. But CJ, with its reputation for quality (vis-a-vis LinkShare's Titanium award problems etc.), might be expected to be more successful in addressing these problems.

  23. #23
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    crucial coupon

  24. #24
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    ......

  25. #25
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    To be honest with 24houredeals.com stuffing cookies like they are doing, the others have no other way to compete than to do the same thing.

    The problem is, WHY 24houredeals.com is still a CJ affiliate. It has been going on for ever. Don't tell us you don't know.

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