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  1. #1
    Web Ho - Design B!tch ~Michelle's Avatar
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    I am just curious if it is against SAS rules for sites to autoset cookies with no action by the visitor. For example, by opening up a window directly to the merchants site without the visitor clicking on anything to cause that to occur?

    ~Michelle
    "All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy."
    "Work to become, not to acquire." -- Confucius

  2. #2
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    I don't believe that opening a window that actually shows the merchants site is against the rules.

    If the merchant site can't be seen at all, like if it is hidden in a frame, it might be, not sure.

    The first can be a real attempt to get the prospective customer to look at the merchants site by putting it right in their face. It could be considered a legitimate sales technique.

    The latter does NOTHING but set a cookie without there being any chance to increase the merchants sales.

    I know a lot of people don't like the idea of their cookies being wiped out that way. But, from a merchant stand point, it could in fact get more sales by ensuring that their site is seen. If the Affiliate site doesn't get the customer to their site any other way, they still have a chance to be seen and get a sale when their own site pops up.

    I recommend that you ask the merchant for permission before doing this. Most merchants, I believe, will tell you to go ahead and do it.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  3. #3
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Michelle you pose the very question at the root of affiliate ethical behavior. SAS is totally anti-parasitic BHO who autoset cookies and other nasties. I would assume they'd take a firm stance that the "poormans BHO" trick of autosetting cookies without a physical click is a parasite on existing cookies in place.

    I hinted to them over the last 3 weeks to put their exact terms on "cookie stuffing" in their TOS and on their front page. If they are truly pro-active in their leveling the playing field for their affiliates they'd clarify SSanf's below line....

    If the merchant site can't be seen at all, like if it is hidden in a frame, it might be, not sure.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  4. #4
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Yes, I think everyone would agree that cookie stuffing by having the merchant site unknown and unseeable is unethical.

    I kind of draw the line on having the actual merchant site pop-up which I can see as having some actual value to the merchant in that it gives them a second shot at getting a sale no matter how bad the affiliate may be at sight design or writing good "spin". The affiliate may not be good at site design or writing but may be outstanding at getting good search engine placement. That is also a valuable skill that should be financially rewarded.

    In a case like that, having the merchant site pop-up could be a very useful tool for making sales. It also does give the merchant such value as branding may have.

    So, I don't think the issue is as cut and dried as many would have you believe. That is why as things stand now, it appears to be the merchant's call as to whether they allow pop-ups of their actual site or not.

    I don't see that kind of cookie setting as a problem so long as the merchant is clear and all affiliates have a level playing field.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  5. #5
    Web Ho - Design B!tch ~Michelle's Avatar
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    I asked this question, not because I want to implement this, but because I am trying to find out where the networks stand on this issue.

    I gave Sarah from Linkshare the example like:

    If a you were at a site, and without any action from you, a window with the merchants site in it popped up, would that be allowed?

    Her reply was:

    "As described the action would be violative of our membership agreement, and we will take action if, based on our investigation, we confirm that any LinkShare Merchants are affected by this."

    So it is not allowed by anyone using Linkshare links to link to a merchant to open up a window like that.

    I really want to know where everyone stands on this.

    Brian??? Any input?
    ~Michelle
    "All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy."
    "Work to become, not to acquire." -- Confucius

  6. #6
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    Linkshare has some strange rules, if we can't view the site, and products, how do we now what searchword to use, and if we want it at all?We had several lS merchants that contacted us direct to join their program, and others that didn't know we were taken off, and returned.At least sas lets us view the products/services before we choose.Every one is human, but soetimes we think they brag about themselves too much, we lost a lot of good merchants their, and moved to other programs, like be free, and performics. now art.com is leaving, and we have plenty of their ads in, and have to go through each website to delete them, and put new ones in.
    jj

  7. #7
    Web Ho - Design B!tch ~Michelle's Avatar
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    JJ

    I don't think you get what we are talking about.

    Placing a link to a merchant on your site, that a visitor clicks on, and either a new window pops up with the merchant in it or it displays the merchants site in the same window is ok.

    Having a window pop up that displays the merchants website without any action being performed by the visitor is not ok. When you do this, a cookie gets autoset for starters.
    ~Michelle
    "All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy."
    "Work to become, not to acquire." -- Confucius

  8. #8
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    Sorry, I misunderstood you, when we first got into LS, we called there tech support, and found Reggie extremly helpful. If you don't make sales, they don't get the $38,000 they charge each merchant, which is why thety are losing so many. Sorry about my mistake.
    jj

  9. #9
    Web Ho - Design B!tch ~Michelle's Avatar
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    quote:
    Originally posted by JAMES T. MONROE:
    Sorry, I misunderstood you, when we first got into LS, we called there tech support, and found Reggie extremly helpful. If you don't make sales, they don't get the $38,000 they charge each merchant, which is why thety are losing so many. Sorry about my mistake.
    jj


    No problem!

    I just wanted to make sure we were on the 'same page'.
    ~Michelle
    "All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy."
    "Work to become, not to acquire." -- Confucius

  10. #10
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    if a non-click popup is used, it should be to display a merchant creative... not the merchant's site.

    an actual click action is the only thing that should set tracking.

    popping to a new window on a click is <b>ok</b> - therefore.... an exit or entry popup with the merchant's site is not.

    [edited to add the word non-click in the first sentence, and to bold the "ok" in popping a new window on a click action]

    [This message was edited by shareasale on March 16, 2004 at 03:08 PM.]
    Thanks,

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

  11. #11
    Web Ho - Design B!tch ~Michelle's Avatar
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    quote:
    Originally posted by shareasale:
    if a popup is used, it should be to display a merchant creative... not the merchant's site.

    an actual click action is the only thing that should set tracking.

    popping to a new window on a click is ok - therefore.... an exit or entry popup with the merchant's site is not.


    Brian, check your PM's.
    ~Michelle
    "All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy."
    "Work to become, not to acquire." -- Confucius

  12. #12
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Now that makes it perfectly clear Brian....as 8000 ABWers gasp they've been screwed. Some think your merchants allow this regardless of your network stance or TOS.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  13. #13
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    quoting myself:

    quote:
    popping to a new window on a click is ok
    Thanks,

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

  14. #14
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    OK, since you have clarified your position, I will take it off the one place I do use it, tomorrow. I asked for and received the merchants permission to do it. But, frankly, it ain't no big deal. I don't think it made any more or less money.

    The reason I put it up in the first place is that every other affiliate who used that merchant seemed to do this at the time. All I want is a level playing field.

    If I find other affiliates doing it after I take mine down, I will advise you so there can be equal enforcement.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  15. #15
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    OK, just emailed the merchant to see if there is a creative I can use instead. Waiting for reply.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  16. #16
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    OK, here is what I have done. SAS has links specifically to be used for pop-ups for most of the merchants. I used search and replace and changed the links I had to exactly and precisely what is offered on the SAS linking options. Those look the same as what I had but they must be the "creatives". This should be fine.

  17. #17
    Outsourced Program Manager e-Gazer's Avatar
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    One question: Would you consider this auto-cookie setting if one created a co-branded site that they offered their affiliates, and then placed qksrv or any other tracking into the URL for the cookie to be set? The URL needs to be entered or clicked on when searched, therefore it will pull up a the site that it is supposed to be linked to.
    Does any one see this as auto-cookie stuffing?

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