Cookies, Cloaking and Affiliate Commissions
What is a 'cookie', or 'cookies'?
Cookies are generally safe
Cookies usually contain only a small amount of information like the URL of the web site that created the cookie, the time life of the cookie, and a random number. That is why it usually can not be used to find your identity or personally identifying information. This is contrary to some fears that cookies gather personal information that can be used against you. Cookies are generally safe but there are cases of abuse in the use of these cookies.
Two types of cookies
There are two types of cookies, according to its life duration, namely: 1. session cookies and 2. persistent cookies. Session cookies are temporary cookies created inside your browser's sub-folder when you visit a web site. When you exit from the site, the session cookie is automatically deleted. Persistent cookies, however, remain in your browser's sub-folder even when you already exited from the site. These cookies are again activated when you make another visit to the site that created the cookie.
You should bear in mind that web pages have no memories. When you stay long in a web site, you are treated as a completely new visitor every time you move from one page to another. Session cookies keep track of your movement from page to page so you do not get bothered to give the same information you've already given while you were in other pages. Session cookies allow you to move within the web site quickly and easily.
Persistent cookies, on the other hand, help web sites to remember your information and settings when you visit them in the future. This result in faster and more convenient access. There is no more need to process authentication. Logging in may be done automatically. Beside authentication, persistent cookies can also facilitate language selection, theme selection, menu preferences, internal site book marking, among many others. Affiliate Marketing has grown tremendously over the years because of the use of these persistent cookies.
The need to cloak affiliate links
Millions of affiliate marketeers worldwide are somehow dependent on these cookies to earn their affiliate contracts. These cookies record the identity of the owner of the affiliate link used to access vendor web sites that offered affiliate programs. This information is used to pay agreements to the affiliate concerned when a visitor decides to buy a product at the website of the vendor. This process of giving contracts is usually fully automated. affiliates will get their contracts with or without the knowledge of the user or buyer. However, because of many observations that these affiliate links can be manipulated by other parties to steal responsibilities from the rightful owner of the affiliate link, many affiliates use various kinds of link cloaking techniques to protect or mask their affiliates identifying information.
Problem associated with cloaking
Unknown to many affiliates, there are situations that can cause affiliates to lose commissions as a result of cloaking. No doubt cloaking is a big help to many associates. But before one uses any of the common cloaking techniques, affiliates need to test or check that the affiliate link is safe for cloaking. If it is not safe for cloaking, it is better not to cloak the affiliate link. Because if you do, browsers of your prospective customers, like the Internet Explorer (IE), can block the cookies from being set up. So, when this prospective customer buys a product, the affiliate concerned earns nothing because there is no record of where to credit the sale.
Source by Sammy B Sabenecio