Cookie stuffing is a technique in which a user receives a third-party cookie from a website unrelated to that visited by the user. Most of the time this occurs without the user being aware of it. Affiliate activity needs to be adequately monitored to ensure that this activity isn’t occurring on the program.
Below are some activity that may be indicators of potential cookie stuffing:
- An abnormally high conversion rate - If a user is already looking for a particular merchant and the affiliate is dropping a cookie wherever possible can lead to conversion rates of anywhere up to 15% or more.
- An extremely low conversion rate - If an affiliate is dropping lots of cookies but these fail to turn into sales they could be applying a shotgun effect of widening their funnel of potential with little return.
- High conversion rate + poor quality site - If the site is of poor quality and the conversion rate is high, there is a high likelihood
A sure way to immediately identify if an affiliate is cookie stuffing is downloading a copy of the Firefox browser (if you don't already have it).
- PC Users go to Tools > Options > Privacy and then click on Show Cookies
- Mac Users go to Firefox menu > Preferences > Privacy and click on "Remove Individual Cookies"
You can now view the cookies that have been downloaded to your computer. In this list you may or may not find the Commission Factory cookie that we drop on a user’s computer. The cookie will be listed as "track.commissionfactory.com.au". Don't worry if you don't see it in the list, it just means that you have not clicked on an affiliate link in a while.
You can choose to remove just the Commission Factory cookies individually or all cookies that have been stored on your computer. Removing all cookies will make it easier to find out if an affiliate is cookie stuffing.
Once the cookies have been cleared, visit the affiliate site that you are investigating. Simply going to the home page should be enough to see if they are employing cookie stuffing techniques. However, to be completely sure, we recommend clicking through a few pages.
Now you can re-open your cookie browser in Firefox, and check to see what cookies were downloaded during this process. If you don’t see the "track.commissionfactory.com.au" file in the list, then the affiliate is not cookie stuffing. If the affiliate is cookie stuffing, then the file will have reappeared in the list without you having clicked on any of your own merchant campaign links present on the affiliate page.
What do I do if an affiliate is cooking stuffing?
Cookie stuffing is not allowed on our system and is considered deceitful, dishonest, and unethical.
- If you discover that an affiliate is cookie stuffing on the program, your next step is to contact the affiliate in violation directly to inform them that this activity needs to cease immediately.
- Provide the affiliate with 24 hours to adjust their activity and inform you of their compliance within that window of time.
- If you do not receive a response within 24 hours, you are within your rights to suspend this affiliate from your program.
- At this point, please also ensure you let us know what has happened and what course of action you have taken. We will then review the affiliate account and if necessary forfeit their commissions and suspend them from the network.