Cookie Stuffing or Cookie Dropping is an affiliate marketing illegal practice. It is when you put a cookie on someone computer without them knowing. Some people use it on their review sites so they still can get a commission even if the person doesn’t click through their link. In other words, you’re making money not by referring people to the merchant’s website as you should be doing, but by secretly loading the website (and dropping the affiliate cookie) in the background without the visitor’s knowledge. Most people consider it blackhat marketing. You could also get banned from an affiliate or CPA network if they catch you using this method.
A brief description about Affiliate marketing who does not know about it at all. Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.
Every time you click on an affiliate link, the affiliate tracking software places a cookie on your computer. This cookie stores important data about your click, visited pages, and the referring affiliate. When you complete a purchase, the affiliate tracking system will locate this cookie on your computer, and with the information contained inside, reward the referring affiliate with a commission. So, many affiliates use cookie stuffing script to earn the profit.
Also Read: 23 Deadly Black Hat SEO Techniques
Why People Do Cookie Stuffing?
The only real reason anybody does cookie stuffing scheme is to make more money – it really is that simple. Depending on the way that the cookie stuffing campaign is run
Here are some common cookie stuffing methods:
- Image Cookie Drop
Image cookie Stuffing is the basic method ever for cookie stuffing. To implement this, cookie stuffer use an HTML image tag (<img> ) and create an 1px * 1px image which points to your affiliate link, as opposed to a real image. When the page is loaded, the visitor’s browser will attempt to load the image, but instead, load the page referenced in the tag and your cookie is dropped.
<img src=”catchupdates.com” alt=”Alternative text” height=”1? width=”1?>
The biggest drawback with this method is that anybody can check your source code and see that the image is just a disguised affiliate link.
- Iframe Method
Iframe cookie stuffing is an alternative to image cookie stuffing. To implement this, create a simple 1-pixel iFrame on your page, and then get that iframe to load your affiliate link. Once again, the potential of being caught here is reasonably high as someone just has to open your source code and you can get caught.
- WordPress Plugins
There is a number of different cookie stuffing WordPress plugins available along with affiliate cookie stuffing software. Plugins are the easiest way to do cookie stuffing, and can often make detection reasonably difficult. However, some cookie stuffing plugins are very nefarious, because they are programmed to drop the developers’ cookies on your visitors (without you knowing) or even sneakily redirect visitors to a different page.
Pop-ups or Pop-unders – These are very easily blocked by your browsers today, but in the glory days of popups, tons of people used them to stuff cookies.
Browser toolbars or malware – Shawn Hogan, in the eBay case, used browser toolbars that he created to implement cookie stuffing. Some computer software you’ve downloaded for free may also be stuffing cookies on your PC every time you use it.
Is Cookie Stuffing Illegal?
Yes, it is illegal. You may earn a lot many than you ever have dreamt of. But down the road, you will have to pay heavily for it.
Cookie Stuffing Incident: Cookie Stuffer sentenced to 5 months in prison after banking $28 MILLION bucks from Ebay.
If you want to read about it refer this – http://www.businessinsider.in/eBays-Top-Affiliate-Marketer-Was-Just-Sentenced-To-Federal-Prison/articleshow/34511382.cms
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