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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Anti-Spyware Cookie Detection

Check out this very interesting study on the current status of Cookies Detected by Anti-Spyware Programs conducted by Ben Edelman for the folks over at Clicks2Customers.

This is important information that marketing folks have been following for awhile now.  There's plenty of research on the topic of cookie deletion and blocking (several good links in the article).  It think perhaps we're all pretty tired of talking about it!  But there continue to be new tools introduced and existing tools updated to further "help" our visitors detect, block and delete "harmful" cookies, including analytics cookies.

The article notes some options in the conclusion, suggesting:
"Could shorter cookie durations address ad systems' needs, while reducing user privacy concerns? If most conversions occur within days of an ad impression, a far longer cookie duration may be unnecessary and needlessly privacy-invasive. Similarly, it seems separating cookies into advertiser-specific chunks -- either first-party cookies, or path-specific third-party cookies -- might blunt many privacy concerns, while preserving the tracking many advertisers consider most important."
The article also includes a "revenue loss calculator", that gives an approximation of affiliate/merchant lost revenue based "as a function of the advertiser's conversion speed and the percent of the advertiser's cookies that are removed".  Clever.

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