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  1. #1
    Newbie BPP's Avatar
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    Exclamation Shoemoney on 'Affiliate Cookie Killers'
    Anyone read Jeremy's excellent entry about "Affiliate Cookie Killers" and "about spybot search and distroy and how its eating commission junction cookies." It adds some much needed ideas to the discourse, especially for affiliates (and the few bigger networks like Shareasale) who actually play fair.

    Here's the full post [NOTE: his contains links that I'm not including here, you can go there to leave comments and follow those original referring links]:


    MmMm Affiliate Cookie Killers

    CPA Affiliates had a post last week about spybot search and distroy and how its eating commission junction cookies.
    It reminded me of a article written a while back by Ben Edelman for Vinny Lingham covering all networks and programs. Its a very… very… well researched document and contains tons of information. I highly suggest you read it.

    So… between cookie eaters/spyware/adware/stuffers I would go on record to say from what I have seen and heard dealing with most of the top networks that use cookies to track up to 70% of ALL cookies placed are either fraudulent or discarded by 3rd party programs.

    So when it comes to CPA/Affiliate stuff what is the answer? In my opinion ALL the blame falls on the affiliate networks. Commission Junction, AzoogleAds, Cpaempire, Copeac, Nevertrueads, Milnic Media whoeverads…

    Now.. I would like to see cookie tracking gone forever. This is actually something me and dillsmack have debated a lot. Every time I come up with a new way to do 100% server side tracking he creates scenarios in which it would fail. Its clear to me that cookie tracking is not going anywhere. So who is to blame and what should they do?

    They all need to do a much better job with:

    1) Fraud detection - not detecting fraudulent leads or cookie stuffing leads to crappy leads which in turn the advertising companies will have to write off in there budget.

    2) Working together - The problem IMO is the lack of communication between the companies. So often you see some dirtbag get kicked out of A-List affiliate company for fraud just switch to B and C list companies. So the problem is not fixed.

    3) Quit working with jackasses. The reason the cookies are being eaten by these 3rd party programs is because they have done some really shady stuff or allowed shady stuff to happen.

    You are probably thinking that its not that big of deal right? That 3rd party companies cant really be eating that many cookies? Well right now in Googles software bundle (the one you get 1$ per install for) there are applications that will eat your affiliate cookies. And speaking of Google how long do you think it will be before Google starts blocking affiliate urls they know are these affilaite companies?
    Anyway What do you think?

    The link to Shoemoney's excellent, thought-provoking post is http://www.shoemoney.com/2007/10/26/...ookie-killers/
    some of this stuff sucks

  2. #2
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Exactly the point I'm making in another thread. Networks need to quit allowing bad practices if they want to avoid these types of problems.
    Michael Coley
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  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    Guess I'm pess-imistic but I wonder if the 'cookie train' is already too far gone to turn it around.

    Maybe the successful marketing companies of the future will be the ones who are looking at other ways to pay their indie salesmen. White label reseller programs or ?

  4. #4
    Newbie BPP's Avatar
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    Question
    Quote Originally Posted by simcat
    Guess I'm pess-imistic but I wonder if the 'cookie train' is already too far gone to turn it around.
    i'm not understanding exactly, a bit unclear can you expand more about What you mean; that they won't or can't ? ... thx.

    also, Doesn't Jeremy or some of his posters point to technology better for affiliates? So if they know there's better, more accurate FAIRER technology, why hasn't it been/isn't it being implemented?

    One commenter noted that Sharesale cookies seem to be pretty good and 'sticky' -- i.e. seem to work very well -- for their affiliates.

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    Exactly the point I'm making in another thread. Networks need to quit allowing bad practices if they want to avoid these types of problems.
    so again, they have the ability/technology to change it but .....Why do you think they don't/haven't done exactly so? What would keep them from doing so?
    Last edited by BPP; October 28th, 2007 at 06:31 PM. Reason: correct spelling
    some of this stuff sucks

  5. #5
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BPP
    so.....Why do you think they don't/haven't done exactly so? What would keep them from doing so?
    Profit. To most networks a cookie is a cookie. They get paid regardless of where that cookie came from or how it was set. It's pretty short sighted on their part, but it's not the first time a business sacrificed long term trust for short term gain.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  6. #6
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    All I can think of when people start talking against cookie-based tracking, is the debacle which surrounded the alternate, "referrer-based" tracking which some have tried as an alternative.

    LinkConnector got blasted by me and several others when they came here touting their system, and for good reasons. Reasons including the unreliability of referrer data, and the fact that their blank links amounted to getting free SEO from affs. Other networks attempting to roll out those kinds of links have had similar complaints brought against it.

    So I disagree with Shoemoney on this point--I don't think that getting rid of cookie-based tracking is a good idea.

    However, I do agree with his points 1-3 about other things networks could do.

    1) Fraud detection - not detecting fraudulent leads or cookie stuffing leads to crappy leads which in turn the advertising companies will have to write off in there budget.

    2) Working together - The problem IMO is the lack of communication between the companies. So often you see some dirtbag get kicked out of A-List affiliate company for fraud just switch to B and C list companies. So the problem is not fixed.

    3) Quit working with jackasses. The reason the cookies are being eaten by these 3rd party programs is because they have done some really shady stuff or allowed shady stuff to happen.

  7. #7
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Well, it's an irritation with Spybot S&D, but on balance I think that particular product does more good than harm. It's free, remember.

    However, some other "anti-spyware" apps flags the tracking cookies up deliberately to worry the users into buying the product. That's only just short of being a completely rogue application.

    In truth, I disagree with an awful lot of what Shoemoney writes.. but he's still worth checking out - you can always make up your *own* mind!
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  8. #8
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    is the debacle which surrounded the alternate, "referrer-based" tracking which some have tried as an alternative.
    Sooner or later the technology will come to allow a PC or server to have it's unique identity to be determined like the finger print of a person. Sure people will bemoan the loss of privacy but with all the fraud, spam, and child molesters it will come. At that time we won't need cookies. Abuse of freedom always leads to restriction.


  9. #9
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Linkconnector launched an affiliate network after successfully creating tracking systems. They failed here because they didn't take the time to work with affiliates to ease their concerns. They simply didn't get it!

    There is a unique way to identify a PC and that is by the MAC address. But, that can be defeated as well. There are several ways to beef-up cookies, 1st party cookies (server), session cookies. ComScore released a study that shows up to 50% of 1st and 3rd (affiliate) cookies are blocked. http://www.comscore.com/request/cookie_deletion.asp Although ComScore is suspect it does raise the question.

    Cookie based technology is definitely flawed and we are all interested in the next generation. Soon we will be buying via cell phones, blackberries and TV which don't use cookies.

  10. #10
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    The "discarded or flagged by 3rd party programs" is a minor issue compared to the simple fact that biggest networks are in cahoots with the biggest cookie crumblers in the first place.
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  11. #11
    Outsourced Program Manager DaveAMWSO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bumpaw
    Sooner or later the technology will come to allow a PC or server to have it's unique identity to be determined like the finger print of a person. Sure people will bemoan the loss of privacy but with all the fraud, spam, and child molesters it will come. At that time we won't need cookies. Abuse of freedom always leads to restriction.
    Along with that technology will come the technology to block it as well. I don't thing technology is the answer here (there will always be tech to counteract), but rather working on the reason WHY affiliate links are being blocked and the consumer perception of the affiliate industry.

    Quote Originally Posted by davidh
    The "discarded or flagged by 3rd party programs" is a minor issue compared to the simple fact that biggest networks are in cahoots with the biggest cookie crumblers in the first place.
    Excellent point davidh!!
    Last edited by DaveAMWSO; October 29th, 2007 at 09:08 PM. Reason: added quote and reply to davidh
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