Blackhat Cookie Stuffing May be Targeting Your Customers

I’ve heard them say that once you go black you never go back.  That may or may not be true.  I once had a girlfriend who said… oh never mind, that’s not what I’m talking about here, anyway.  I’m talking about Internet marketing blackhat methods.  These are unethical money making methods of marketing that can get you banned for affiliate programs, banned from chat forums, sued, and in some cases put in jail.  Sounds risky, why do people do it?  Duh, did you miss the part where I said “money making”?

Before you start thinking that I am an scumbag for breaching this topic, you should know that there are plenty of reasons to call me scumbag, but this is not one of them.  Anybody serious about marketing on the Internet should at least know what they are up against.

One of the most common blackhat methods is called cookie stuffing.  Here’s the gist of it…

When you click on an affiliate banner, a cookie is set in your browser.  This cookie basically shows that you belong to the affiliate whose banner you clicked on.  If you make a purchase after clicking on that banner the affiliate who sent you there will make a commission.  These cookies could be set to expire in 1 day, 30 days, or longer.  The goal of affiliate cookies is to give credit (and cash) to the affiliate that first sent you to the product or service that you purchased.  For example, you click on a banner through one of my affiliate links and visit the vendor’s site.  You then leave the site without making a purchase.  A few days later, you stumble across another banner for the same product, click through, and make purchase.  As the affiliate that sent you there first, I would get the credit and be paid the commission, so long as it was prior to the cookie expiring.

Cookie stuffing is when a marketer sets affiliate cookies to your browser whether or not you clicked through to a vendor’s site or not.  Generally, they will set up a site on a specific topic.  When a visitor comes to that site, their browser is loaded with topic relevant affiliate program cookies.  These marketers have an uncanny talent of predicting products that you will come across and perhaps purchase.

So, what are some of the methods that cookie stuffers use?

Hey, that sounds illegal!  Um ya!  Weren’t you paying attention when I said you could be sued or thrown in jail for it?  Do you think that you could be thrown in jail for something that wasn’t illegal.  Stop being a moron and pay closer attention.

Here’s an excerpt from the UK’s Register

“A Las Vegas web developer has been charged with fleecing eBay out of tens of thousands of dollars by selling a program that planted fraudulent web cookies on the PCs of people visiting the online auctioneer. … Kennedy was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He faces a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000, in addition to possible restitution”

There is a war going on between ethical Internet Marketers and unethical blackhatters. That war has been going on since the early days of the affiliate marketing. Guess who’s winning? Yup, the blackhatters are winning by a long haul and mainly because most people don’t even know they are at war. How are you supposed to beat somebody in a battle if you don’t even know that there is a battle going on? As an Internet loser, I am sure that you had no idea.

Now that you know that you are at war, let’s talk about what you are going to do about it.

The best strategy defense is to partner with people that have big guns. Before you go and join some rinky dink affiliate program, you should find out what that company is doing to combat cookie stuffing. Ask before you promote anything. If you are unhappy with their response or if you don’t get a response you should run away. There are plenty of affiliate programs that use sophisticated algorithms developed by an army of clones that they created from a lock of Albert Einstein’s hair. Keep in mind that clones are not perfect, so some scammers do get by their defense mechanisms, but at least they are trying.  From now on, make it a point to only market products from affiliate programs that are making the effort to combat these lowlife scumbags.

This article was to let you know what you’re up against.  Don’t go and use this as an excuse as to why you haven’t made any money in affiliate marketing.  The Internet is a large place and you can still make a fortune, despite some theft that is taking place.  The reason that you haven’t made any money is because you are a loser… but keep reading my posts and there will be hope for you yet.

Did you enjoy this article?
Signup today and receive free tips and updates straight in your inbox. We will never share or sell your email address.

Fatal error: Uncaught Exception: 12: REST API is deprecated for versions v2.1 and higher (12) thrown in /home/ebrian/public_html/wp-content/plugins/seo-facebook-comments/facebook/base_facebook.php on line 1273