Affiliate Toolbars, Adware and Malware: 19 Resources to Study

Posted on1 CommentCategoriesSpyware & Parasites

You will hear them called “adware,” “malware,” “parasiteware,” and “spyware;” you will see them come in forms of toolbars, browser plugins, BHOs, pop-ups, and pop-unders. As Harvard’s Ben Edelman would say, “the techniques vary, but the key tactic is the same” — “finding a way to get between the user and the merchant, in order to claim Read More …

Per Convertro One in Ten of Your Affiliates is Likely a Cookie Stuffer

Posted on1 CommentCategoriesAffiliate Program Management, Interviews, Spyware & Parasites, Thoughts for Affiliates

It’s been 16 months since Convertro released their “Affiliate Cookie Stuffing 2.0” report revealing their list of the top 10 cookie stuffers to be aware of. Looking for more up-to-date information on the subject, I was pleasantly surprised to learn the company’s co-founder and CMO, David Perez, actually has substantial affiliate and affiliate management experience Read More …

An Invisible Thief: Affiliate Adware and Plugins

Posted on2 CommentsCategoriesAffiliate Program Management, Spyware & Parasites

The best affiliates are highly motivated to make sales and use whatever tools available to interest potential customers, including ever-developing technologies and apps. Although this is generally a good thing for the merchant, affiliate managers must be discerning which promotional methods are acceptable and which are not. Several types of software and browser plugins can Read More …

Affiliate Cookie Stuffing is Wire Fraud (Criminal Offense)

Posted on12 CommentsCategoriesAnnouncements, Thoughts for Affiliates

The day before yesterday an affiliate (who runs a review website) posted the following comment under my 2009 What Is Cookie Stuffing post: Coincidentally, also the day before yesterday the industry’s famous fraud detective Kellie Stevens wrote up an article that has, undoubtedly, become a sobering one for many. Two years after being indicted for Read More …

Why Every Merchant Must Read BrandVerity Affiliate Compliance Guide

Posted on6 CommentsCategoriesAffiliate Program Management, Thoughts for Affiliates

On March 7, 2012 BrandVerity released its Affiliate Compliance Guide. In it they cover “techniques, signs, and strategies to combat affiliate fraud” which may be draining your money even as you are reading this post now. Here are just a few interesting excerpts and a screenshot from it (all of which, I hope, will make Read More …

Major Online Forums Hacked by Affiliate Cookie-Stuffers

Posted on2 CommentsCategoriesAffiliate Program Management, Interviews, Spyware & Parasites

Two days ago, a famous affiliate abuse and click fraud detective Ben Edelman (see my recent Econsultancy interview with him here), has revealed some alarming data on “hack-based cookie-stuffing” by rogue affiliates via a fairly new Bannertracker-script at online forums based on vBulletin (versions 4.x to 4.1.2). Here’s an abstract from his article: Perpetrators using server Read More …

Walmart Affiliate Program Now Prohibits Parasitic Behaviors

Posted on5 CommentsCategoriesAffiliate Program Management, Spyware & Parasites

One would think that it is common sense to have a separate section prohibiting parasitic affiliate behaviors in your affiliate program and your program agreement. However, even larger online merchants sometimes do not do so. First of all, this makes them significantly more vulnerable to rogue affiliates. Secondly, it makes it harder to fight such Read More …

What Is Cookie Stuffing?

Posted on17 CommentsCategoriesAffiliate Program Management, General Discussion

Cookie stuffing, cookie dropping, forced clicks, or cookie sprinkling is a blackhat marketing method used by affiliates to record tracking cookies on the end user’s machine, without the prior consent of the user, and with the purpose of creating an impression that the customer/user referral is to be attributed to the blackhat affiliate’s marketing. Looking Read More …