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How Risky Is Cookie Stuffing To Your Brand's Reputation?

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By Author: selinsjesse
Total Articles: 20
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Affiliate marketing is a performance-based approach to digital marketing. Most organizations leverage the potential of affiliate marketing to drive demand. It assists your company’s marketing team to boost the visibility of your brand.

Your marketing team relies on the affiliate's website to display ad links for commission payment in return. Affiliate marketing is a win-win situation for both parties. In affiliate marketing, affiliates are generating passive income by displaying ads.

Marketers can collect website visits and sales for their businesses. But since affiliate marketing involves external parties to drive website traffic, things can get complicated. Cookie stuffing is one such phenomenon where you misattribute sales.

It is a type of affiliate fraud that decreases your marketing team's budget. In affiliate marketing, integrating cookies into your users’ browsers can improve their experience. Cookies also play an integral role in offering you crucial metrics.

The success of affiliate marketing ...
... campaigns relies on cookie placement. But the stuffing of cookies can be risky to your brand's reputation. It is most often used by malicious affiliates to misattribute sales figures.

Role of Cookies in Affiliate Marketing
The efficacy of affiliate marketing depends significantly on the proper attribution of sales. Marketers need to be sure that the sales are attributed to the individual who clicked on the ad. And one of the most common ways to attribute sales is by cookies.

Cookies refer to the pieces of information saved when specific users visit a website. The information is saved on the user’s device or browser. Cookies also track the activity of your users when they navigate from one website to another. Cookies can track your user’s online activities. That's why they have become an inseparable part of affiliate marketing.

Overview of Cookie Stuffing
Cookie stuffing is a technique used by nefarious affiliates to trick websites into thinking they’ve sent them traffic. But in reality, the traffic is not sent by them. Affiliate cookie stuffing can affect your marketing team's ROI.

The nefarious affiliates try to gain a commission by referring a user to a website without putting any effort. The cookie comprises false information. It misleads your marketing team into believing that the threat actors are responsible for generating clicks.

During cookie stuffing, you end up crediting the nefarious affiliates. It is common for threat actors to stuff fresh cookies to create affiliate fraud. They can also overwrite the existing or legitimate cookies in your user’s devices.

With cookie stuffing, unscrupulous affiliates can siphon away the commission of your legitimate affiliates. Without putting in any real effort, malicious affiliates leverage cookie stuffing to earn commissions. The forceful injection of cookies to gain commissions is one of the biggest threats in affiliate marketing.

The indicators to Identify Cookie Stuffing in Affiliate Marketing
To reduce the risks, your marketing team should know what is cookie stuffing. Your company relies on affiliate marketing to pay publishers commissions for driving traffic to the advertiser’s website. Cookie stuffing is the process of dropping numerous third-party cookies on your website to earn commissions. Here are some indicators to recognize cookie stuffing in affiliate marketing.

Decreases the ROI
Your company calculates performance metrics through revenue generated from each channel. The ROI trends offer a deeper insight into the effectiveness of the marketing strategies. However, if there is a sudden decline in the ROI, it indicates the ineffectiveness of your marketing tactics. It also suggests that you are a victim of affiliate fraud by paying the threat actors instead of the legitimate affiliates.

The Sincere and Professional Affiliates Receive Lesser Payout
In cookie stuffing, you tend to credit the threat actors instead of legitimate affiliates. If the sincere affiliates of your company are leaving, you should take preventive action. Cookie stuffing by threat actors results in the loss of commission of the professional affiliates.

The Working Mechanism of Cookie Stuffing
Cookie stuffing is a session-riding strategy used to exploit your website. Here are some ways in which cookie stuffing functions.

Pop-ups
Pop-ups are effective in catching the attention of users. Threat actors induce adware in the system of the users. The adware causes your user’s system to display irrelevant pop-ups. When the users click on these pop-ups, the nefarious affiliates inject cookies to monetize sales.

JavaScript
The malicious affiliates leverage JavaScript to redirect your users to a different product page and insert cookies. The additional redirection can affect the customer’s buying journey. The user experience of your website declines, and its bounce rate increases with frequent redirects.

How can VPT Help Combating Cookie Stuffing?
Virus Positive Technologies (VPT) can help your company with affiliate monitoring in real-time. VPT has a data-driven publisher profiling and fraud detection platform. It can detect affiliate fraud. VPT can also assess each activity of the affiliates. To offer the best ROI, VPT lets you track and monitor the affiliates.

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