What I'm about to share is extremely black hat.
Lots of talk about cookie stuffing lately and it seems that many people don't know what it actually is. I thought i'd try and explain it and hopefully that might help some people understand why cookie stuffing is not the reason clickbank is screwing up.
- Say I have a 1 page review site for 'Strip the Fat' that pulls in 100 unique visitors per day
- 10 of those people click on my affiliate link
- 1 of those people buy, good for one sale a day
- Lets say 1 other person reads my review, and then goes DIRECTLY to the sales page without clicking my links. I wont get cash for the sale
Now, wouldn't it be nice if we got commissions for everyone who visited our website if they purchased. Whether or not they clicked on our affiliate links? You bet your butt it would (despite being against every major affiliate companies TOS). This is where cookie stuffing comes in.
- Inside my page I place a 1pixel image. Something like '/images/thisisa1pixelimage.jpg'
- The thing is, this image isnt actually an image. *SHOCK*
- The trick is, I have secretly told my server that this is a PHP script. So instead of displaying the image, it parses the file and tries to execute it.
- Inside the image/php script I redirect to my affiliate link which drops the affiliate cookie on a users computer.
- So now, EVERY SINGLE PERSON who visits my page gets the affiliate cookie on their machine, whether or not they click my link.
- Beyond that, you could post that image anywhere on the entire web and anyone who views it will get a cookie dropped on them. Which is why you should never allow images to be loaded from other sites in your forums.
That's cookie stuffing at its very finest. There are countless ways to use this technique, almost all of them black hat. For example, have you ever noticed that once you open up one spam email, the next week you get 50 of them? The spammer has dropped a 1pixel image into your email, so by opening up the file you are verifying your existence because the 1pixel image runs a php script that says 'hey, the guy at firstname.lastname@example.org just opened me'.
So think about it, if cookie stuffing was the culprit then you wouldn't be seeing affiliate = none . You'd be seeing affiliate = spammer the whole time.
Anyway, just like Uncle Ben says to Peter Parker 'with great power comes great responsibility'. Don't use this for evil