So I’ve been a cookie monster this month, big deal! 😀
Cookies Crumbling Drama & Confusion
Disturbing Cookie News
More Crumbling Cookies Talk
But being involved online with affiliate marketing, HEY COOKIES ARE IMPORTANT! When the cookie doesn’t work, I don’t get paid.
There’s a great discussion going on over at Search Engine Watch Stopping Anti-Spyware from Deleting Cookies that’s discussing the ClickZ article Crumbling Cookies Threaten SEM and Online Advertising.
The ClickZ article has some good info, two blurbs toward the bottom states:
Several trade associations are positioned to help save the cookie as a viable ad tracking method (if it can be saved). They have several weapons at their disposal, including:
Proactive consumer PR efforts, so consumers will understand cookies’ positive effect in helping them manage their online experiences and even to see more relevant advertising
Lawmaker education on the realistic levels of privacy “invasion” caused by non-personally-identifiable cookies served by first- and third-parties
Is the potential outcome of the “cookie crisis” overstated? Perhaps. But I don’t want to see the cookie’s value to consumers, advertisers, and publishers evaporate.
Personally I think the cookie is toast. Surfers want clean computers and if that means sweeping away the 150 cookies their computer stores daily, so be it. I can’t think of one good reason why I need to store my cookies (I’m a daily cookie sweeper). Someone convince me – educate me. Show me how it’s in *my* best interests to keep my cookies stored.
Easy logins? Nah, my Roboform provides me with one-click access. Sure a lot of surfers don’t use password managers, but they do use their browser’s password management feature.
Aside from that there is a bigger concern that caught me eye in the SEW thread:
first of all, the ‘net buyers’ usually have more than one computer and usally surf in a ‘passive way’ when at work and in an ‘active’ one when at home; for example, i work in a search engine and i’me always online, but when i want to buy something online, i do it at home; i ‘search’ at work (with another pc) and ‘buy’ at home; so the cookie does not work; and in my office i see every guy doing the same thing: nobody want to extract his cc in the office and start buying there; we want to do with calm at home, ins’t it??
And thinking on that, I realize how much truth is stated there. We’re no longer a ‘one computer’ society. I have three at home, use two or more regularly at work. And hell no – I will never buy anything online while at work. I might as well just pin my credit card number up on the bulletin board in the staff room.
So if we’re using multiple computers, searching on one/two/three computers and buying on others, how are cookies effectively tracking affiliate sales? Now throw in the parasite issue that too many merchants and networks allowed to flourish.
Snip from the SEW thread:
I think this will soon become a competitive issue: The companies that can show the most reliable tracking will win the best performing affiliates, and will be able to bid the highest CPCs on PPC listings.
Companies left behind, with only cookie tracking to offer, will have to pay affiliates a higher cut (for the users lost in tracking) and the same companies will have a harder time calculating ROI.
I am sure we will soon begin to see more vendors offering alternatives to cookies. With more competition the prices will most loikely drop to a level acceptable for even smaller comapnies. Today, it is just too complicated and expensive for small sites.
Now, how many affiliates are seeing the graffiti sprayed across that brick wall? Do we keep building pages/websites around cookie tracked commissions? Or do we run like hell and prepare for what’s happening?