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Cookie stuffing - why don't they prevent it?

Discussion in 'Newbie Helpdesk' started by Gregor, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. Gregor

    Gregor New Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I'm new to this site. I'm looking in to affiliate marketing.

    I read someones blog where he was making fun of other people that they are making too little money with affiliate programs, and barging how much more he makes with cookie stuffing.

    These kind of things make me mad, because I believe in affiliate marketing, and these techniques brake the system, that could be working very well.

    I was wondering if most affiliate programs prevent cookie stuffing and if not, why not? It seems too me that merchants could easily prevent all cookie stuffing methods. So what is the deal?
     
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  3. Rob_TID

    Rob_TID Affiliate affiliate

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    It technically pretty difficult to prevent.
     
  4. Gregor

    Gregor New Member

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    Can you please be more specific: What makes it so technically difficult?

    Merchants could set cookies with JavaScript so that you would not be able to do cookie stuffing in images and flash movies.

    With JavaScript they could also prevent cookies to be set when merchant page is loaded in a frame/iframe or popup/popunder window.

    What do you think? Wouldn't that prevent cookie stuffing?
     
  5. Linda Buquet

    Linda Buquet Affiliate affiliate

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    Actually CJ implemented an option for javascript links some time ago. When they introduced them they said after a certain period of time all links would change from html to javascript being the only option. There was a HUGE backlash from the affiliate community with MANY affiliates hating the javascript option.

    So there are pros and cons to everything. Can't remember all the cons to JS.

    As far as cookie stuffing, many programs and networks have in their TOS that it's against the rules and you can be terminated but I too think it's hard to technically prevent it.

    For anyone that isn't aware, not only is cookie stuffing stealing, not only can you get canned and have your commission held, but...

    The owner of DigitalPoint forum and some of his cohorts are in trouble with the law for allegedly stuffing eBay cookies. There are ongoing court cases for numerous counts brought in 2 different court cases - one ebay vs cookie stuffers, the other CJ vs cookie stuffers.


    Here's my big blog about it
    eBay Sues High Profile Affiliate for Cookie Stuffing and Fraud


    Here's the actual eBay case court docket with all the charges and subsequent filings.
    eBay Inc. v. Digital Point Solutions, Inc. et al - Justia Federal District Court Filings and Dockets

    Scroll down, it's a long list.
     
  6. djbaxter

    djbaxter Guest

    I guess the moral of this story is the same as the moral of most black hat SEO stories: You can probably get away with it for a while, especially if it's something not well known, but the people running affiliates and search engines aren't typically in the business because they're stupid - sooner or later they'll catch on and nail you. Frankly, I'm one of those who feels a certain satisfaction from seeing cheaters caught and punished.

    The basic lesson is focus on the long run. Build your business, online or off, slowly and consistently and with integrity and stay far away from get rich quick schemes of any kind. Then you'll have nothing to worry about.
     
  7. Gregor

    Gregor New Member

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    Thank you for pointing that out. I looked it up and it seems CJ practically turned into contextual advertiser with that move and I can perfectly understand why people would be against using javascript links. But javascript links are NOT what I'm not talking about.


    When I think about it again this could be even implemented so that it wouldn't have ANY cons.

    If affiliate community would know how easy it is to detect cookie stuffing it could put some pressure on merchants to implement it. If merchants are not already doing that?
     
  8. Rob_TID

    Rob_TID Affiliate affiliate

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    Hey, if you can spell out the technical aspect of detecting cookie stuffing that won't throw out too many false positives, then I will be screaming it from every hill I can find! :)
     
  9. Gregor

    Gregor New Member

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    I will put up something demonstrating technical details, but will not do it right now. Wait for it in a week or two.
     
  10. Rob_TID

    Rob_TID Affiliate affiliate

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    Bear in mind that black hatters and cookie stuffers also read this forum.
     
  11. Linda Buquet

    Linda Buquet Affiliate affiliate

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    Yes, I was going to say that even though those of us who are vocal in this post are very high on marketing with integrity and very against cookie stuffing, you don't know who else is reading.

    One of the problems with trying to curb cookie stuffing or any type of unethical marketing is... once you find a way to block them, they just find out how you are doing it and figure out a way to get around it.

    So possibly put general info out here in public to let people know you are making progress and then PM the specifics to Rob and I so we can see if there is anything we can do to help.

    Thanks for your efforts, Gregor!
     
  12. leodimilo

    leodimilo Affiliate affiliate

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    The easiest way is to have your prompt you every time a cookie gets dropped. It isn't very practical though as most sites drop cookies for analytics among other things.

    Another way is to check source code. Most newbie cookie stuffers use an image source stuff so it is pretty easy to spot.

    All in all, it doesn't mean much because most people won't visit a site direct anyway (unless they are doing big brands like ebay or target) and the last cookie will erase a dropped cookie (does that make sense?)
     
MI