If you blog, sign up for an affiliate marketing program, and become an associate/publisher/affiliate, you may notice, in the terms and conditions for advertisers, the term “cookie”.

Some advertisers say they offer a 10 day cookie, others may offer a 120 day cookie. With some, the “cookie” is only good for one day/session.

Today’s Lesson

A cookie may be referred to as a HTTP cookie, a web cookie, or just a cookie, and it tracks a particular browser’s activity.

A cookie, in affiliate marketing, refers to the length of time the advertiser will honor an order from someone who clicks on a link that you have created on your blog, and completes a transaction.

Obviously, the greater the length of the cookie, the better.

So, what this means is, if someone clicks on a link you created today, surfs the website of the advertiser, and them a week from now, goes back to that particular website and places an order, you may get credit for that order.

Although unlikely, if a “potential customer” disables the cookies on their computer, or their spyware deletes cookies, unless they sign up for “whatever”, immediately, through your site, you may not get credit for the sale, at all. The length of the cookie, may not even matter.

With that being said, although some claim to make good money being an associate/affiliate, it’s truly dependent on the customer who is clicking on the ads.

LinkShare.comreports that their patented tracking methods do not use cookies, which results in greater accuracy in reporting sales information.

To read more about cookies, see the definition posted by Wikipedia

Today’s Assignment

If you use affiliate marketing programs, have you checked to see the length of the cookies?

Should you avoid using an advertiser if their cookies are only good for a short period of time?

Have you even considered this to be a factor when signing up for a specific advertiser?

If you “believe” in an advertiser, would you sign up as a publisher, no matter what?

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  1. CatherineLNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – great points. I noticed some of those cookies very widely. And some of the programs are not worth signing up to.

    Some of the higher priced items – eg furniture and travel only have 30 day cookies which is often not long enough for the buyer to make a purchase decision.

    Thanks for the info on Linkshare though – I didn’t realise that they don’t use cookies.

    By the way – I don’t know if you got my message but I can’t seem to log into your other blog. I wanted to thank you for the post you did on helping me to get into the Christmas spirit. But it is just saying that a user already exists with that email account. Thanks. Catherine

  2. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Catherine,

    Yes, with “short cookies” you may not have a chance to get credit for a sale. And, with consumers who do comparison shopping, the chance for getting credit for a sale becomes slimmer. You can hope for impulsive buyers, but I think consumers are becoming smarter .

    Re: you trying to leave a comment on my OM blog, I will send you an email as I think you may have used a different user name in the past.

  3. I’ve never thought about cookies before and its effect on us as a publisher, but after thinking about it.. which is much better? the ones who implement cookies as their tracking method or the ones who doesn’t?

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