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Evil Affiliate Marketing

By Mohnish On February 20, 2009 Under Affiliate Marketing

The concept of Affiliate Marketing is simple: Refer a buyer to the seller and get a cut of the sales.The problem is sometimes a reader won’t click on the affiliate link right away. However, instead of coming back to your blog to find the affiliate link, they just directly enter the URL of the seller and buy the product. The seller made a sale but you just lost an affiliate commission.

This is the reason why I always hide my affiliate links. You will see my affiliate products name as it is with an internal link, but when it redirects to my affiliate link it loads the page before leaving the website. I.e My affiliate link is never revealed until the destination is reached completely 😉

Once you get a reader to visit the affiliate site, your affiliate cookie/ID will be set on their computer. Once the cookie is set, you don’t have to worry if the reader doesn’t buy or sign up right away. They can even leave the site and come back another day (even if they don’t use your affiliate URL anymore). As long as they make a purchase before the cookie expires, you’ll get your cut of the sale. Most affiliate programs offer a 30 to 90 day cookie.

Embedding The Cookie With An IFrame

An iFrame allows you to embed another HTML page inside the current web page. What you do is load the affiliate page into your current page with an iFrame but make the iFrame so small that the readers can’t see it. Here is the code to do it.

<iframe src=”http://your-affiliate-url.com” width=”1″ height=”1″ frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no”></iframe>

The above code opens up the targeted affiliate link in a tiny 1×1 pixel window within your website. The window is so small that it is not visible to your visitor but the cookie gets set! 😉

Now you can say “Hey! Buy Hostgator web hosting for 1 cent” without using your affiliate link in your post but you will still get your commission 😉

Yes, this is a very evil way to set an affiliate cookie on a reader’s computer. Because of the evilness, not all affiliate programs will allow you to do this. You need to check with the program to make sure they allow the embedding of an invisible iFrame. Most affiliate programs won’t allow this and will ban you if you try it.


9 Comments Add yours

  1. online marketing blog
    February 28, 2009
    3:31 pm #comment-1

    You can get in lots of trouble for setting an affiliate cookie like that – it could result in legal problems. Digital point forums did this with ebay and got into lots of trouble. Cloaking the link url can help but they can still Google the name of the company. I don’t think cloaking the link will stop to many people. But it will stop some

  2. Monty
    February 28, 2009
    3:50 pm #comment-2

    Exactly.. But I don’t think iFrames are bad 😉 You can use them for smaller companies like Web Hosting, which use WHMCS for their affiliate needs.. I bet no one can track this!!

  3. Reviewer Kings
    June 9, 2009
    1:54 am #comment-3

    huh interesting post

  4. Monty
    June 9, 2009
    1:57 am #comment-4

    @Rieviewer Kings – I think you should be easy with your comments and stop spamming the blog?

  5. Harsh Agrawal Shoutmeloud
    July 12, 2009
    5:39 pm #comment-5

    The idea has been widely adopted and many sites are penalize using the trick..if one is only into aff. marketing then he should try this, more over you should also crosscheck with the product TOS if they allow cookie stuffing..
    If I got it right, few months back Digital point owner were facing a serious allegation for cookie stuffing…

  6. Annkur
    November 23, 2009
    5:52 am #comment-6

    Ha ha, I am not surprised that you are banned by Adsense!

  7. Mohnish
    November 23, 2009
    5:59 am #comment-7

    I never used this!! Anyway, no regrets for being banned by Adsense. I still make money online, don’t I? 🙂

  8. 3DS
    June 2, 2011
    11:43 pm #comment-8

    I tried it somewhere, didn’t work for me though. Are you banned from adsense? I’m not even going to try again, I just signed up for adsense. But it sounds interesting(ish) 😛

  9. Kyle Lucas
    January 26, 2016
    2:06 pm #comment-9

    Or worst they could sue the affiliate, but that in extreme cases where the affiliate had made a hefty commissions.
    Take for example Amazon, they sued a super affiliate because he was stuffing cookies (not by iframe but rather in popup).
    He was sued because he made so much profits that he became on their radar.
    But anyways, if you have established an enough trust with your readers, then i wont think they would mind clicking your affiliate link.

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