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  1. #1
    -Shay- is offline Public Member
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    Default Tracking Question

    When it comes to tracking visitors, what actually handles that? Is it the affiliate software (i.e. Income Access) or is it the gaming platform/site?

    I ask because the other day, I began noticing that certain browsers and platforms (google chrome 35.0 mobile on the Android Phone and ie 10.0 on Windows Phone) are not tracking properly to us. I can follow their activity across my site, but then when that specific visitor clicks a "go link", they appear on my site's stats report, but they do not appear as a click with the affiliate program.

    This has been observed across different programs, so its not like I believe that I'm being purposely cheated or anything, I just need to know if I should contact the affiliate programs involved, the gaming software provider, or the affiliate platform (Income Access).

  2. #2
    Anthony-Coral is offline Former Employee of Coral
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    If it doesn't appear immediately is there a few minutes difference, like a server refresh or lag?

    With Income Access, although sales and registration stats are updated once every 24 hours in arrears, clicks and imps should show up pretty quick although, not in 'true' real time.

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  4. #3
    -Shay- is offline Public Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by HodgeyBoy View Post
    If it doesn't appear immediately is there a few minutes difference, like a server refresh or lag?

    With Income Access, although sales and registration stats are updated once every 24 hours in arrears, clicks and imps should show up pretty quick although, not in 'true' real time.
    It is definitely a "not appearing at all" issue, so it is not a refreshing or lagging issue. I caught onto the possibility that this was happening early last week and thought maybe it was isolated to one program, so I started combing through my stats for mobile users and discovered it was a bit more diverse than just the one single program.

    Admittedly, I cannot confirm whether the click-thru to the target site was actually completed or not (ie click a visit link and x out before page loads) or maybe the default setting was (or was changed to) "do not accept cookies" but with a week's worth of observation, I can say with some confidence it is probably not an "x-out" on all occasions and unless not accepting cookies is a default, out of the box setting, that's probably not the case either.

    Again, I do want to reiterate, I do not believe that anyone is stealing, shaving, unmarking, etc. I only think there's a flaw of some sort in the tracking.
    Last edited by -Shay-; 7 July 2014 at 5:45 am.

  5. #4
    F-L-C is offline Private Member
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  7. #5
    -Shay- is offline Public Member
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by F-L-C View Post
    I guess my question should then be modified to take that into consideration and additionally ask what measures IA has taken to ensure that visitors who have cookie tracking turned off in their browsers are tracked to us as the referring party?

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    There are NOT too many options for gambling program / affiliate software to track players if cookies are turned off - I can only think of a couple of ways to do it - and you'll be probably already know if either is being used.

    1/ Unique Landing page
    -------------------------
    Each affiliate is given a unique landing page and a link on it to the signup/registration page. This landing page will be able to indicate to the registration page the "source" of the player when it passes across. This only works IF the player goes direct from landing page to registration.

    2/ Unique Bonus Code
    -------------------------
    Each affiliate is given a unique bonus code to propagate as part of their promotion. If the player enters a bonus code during signup then the player is tagged to the affiliate owning the bonus code.

    Otherwise it's not really possible to track. without cookies.

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  10. #7
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    IACorey is offline Former AM
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    Hey Guys,

    I would be more than happy to discuss this from an IA perspective.

    Tracking is handled in tandem by the operator and IA. IA will track and handle all impressions and click data. We will capture this data through the click through and impressions links respectively (included as part of the banner codes affiliates pull). Anthony is correct, while the clicks and impressions will not show up immediately they will appear in IA reports within minutes of when the action as preformed.

    The actual cookie that will track the visiting player is dropped by the operator themselves. This will happen once the player clicks through a link and is redirected to the operator’s site. IA will drop a cookie at this point as well, this is used to track affiliate referral and not player referrals. In other words the operators will track the visiting player registrations.

    With regards to visitors with cookie tracking turned off. TheGooner is correct; this goes for most if not all tracking software solutions. If a player’s browser is set to not accept cookies there is no way for a third party to in effect turn this on and pass through the tracking cookie without the solutions that TheGooner provided.

    That being said, we have launched a new product which you may have heard of called Ad Serving, which essentially replaces the Banner Manager in our software for any brands that take this new product. This product includes cookieless tracking, allowing us to capture a bTag and associate to a player using pixel tracking. The product also allows for targeted banners display (by city, time of day, browser, and device). If you would like more information on this, please get in touch with me via the email corey[@]incomeaccess[dot]com.

    Shay – Can you send us the link that was not recording clicks to we can take a look (corey[@]incomeaccess[dot]com)?

    As always, if you have any other questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

    Cheers,
    Corey
    Last edited by IACorey; 16 July 2014 at 3:15 pm. Reason: Updated post with E-mail address

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  12. #8
    -Shay- is offline Public Member
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    Corey, thanks for the insight.

    As I had mentioned and/or hinted, there's not a "one single link" that is not working, so the error is not on my end. This was just observations made across our sites with respect to mobile activity.

    I will look into the bTag option, as it sounds like this is going to be a necessity down the road and it is probably better to get something of that sort implemented before we absolutely "need" it rather than being on the trailing edge.

    Has anyone here implemented the cookieless tracking that Corey spoke of? If so, thoughts are appreciated.

  13. #9
    F-L-C is offline Private Member
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    I haven't used pixel tracking with IE but pixel tracking is already the standard tracking for other affiliate industries. Most casinos now offer pixel tracking but you have to request it from your AM, you won't get it as standard

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  15. #10
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    IACorey is offline Former AM
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    Hey Shay


    Thanks for the clarification about the links. I just wanted to make sure we were here to help you out with testing these links if needed. It never hurts to get some outside test results to analyze.


    It’s my pleasure to provide you guys with these insights, please if any of you have any questions about ad-serving or tracking give me a shout. Where I may not be able to answer program specific questions, I would be more than happy to help out where I can with general questions.


    I’m with Shay on this one. I’d love to hear about affiliate’s experiences with the cookieless tracking. This is available through programs that are using IA’s new ad-serving product. This product is relatively new but a few of the bigger brands that use IA are already using it or are switching to it.


    The main item to note about our cookieless tracking is that it will run in tandem with btag tracking. So our cookieless tracking acts as an extra layer of tracking.


    You are correct F-L-C. Pixel tracking seems to be gaining popularity with some iGaming affiliate programs. Cookie tracking still seems to be; from my perspective the most popular. As we see more and more of a push towards driving traffic to mobile apps this will certainly change. This is due to the fact that the iOS App store will not drop a tracking cookie on the tracking entity’s behalf. The Play Store can pass a string through the “Install_referrer” parameter, which some tracking entities use. I have had some visibility to device finger print tracking (this probably is not the official name) which looks quite interesting.


    Essentially, when a user clicks through a banner the tracking link will capture user settings such as; device, browser, IP, language, OS, etc. This is then relayed to the tracking entity. This user information is then relayed two more times. A second time when the app is installed and a third time when a registration in the app has been made.


    When all these three calls are matched (meaning the system sees that the same device finger print has clicked through, downloaded the App and registered) a registration event is recorded and then sent to the operator.


    Pretty interesting stuff in my opinion. What other developments in tracking have you guys seen recently?

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  17. #11
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    The whole problem with this (for those using so-and-so's ad serving product) is that many many MANY of us like to serve our own banners and creatives and often offering the pixel tracking for a text based link is not only overlooked, but when we ask about it the response usually includes questions of how long it has been since I consulted a psychiatrist.

    Pixel or Btag tracking could work, but PLEASE consider allowing us to attach one to a text link also, so that we could use them on any creatives we want to serve ourselves.

    Rick
    Universal4

    but when we ask about it the response usually includes questions of how long it has been since I consulted a psychiatrist.
    PS: If I answer the question honestly, I usually have to explain that they all refuse to see me anymore. I overheard a few of them discussing my case once and heard things like (have you ever encountered test cases like this before?)

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  19. #12
    -Shay- is offline Public Member
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    I have to agree with Rick's statement regarding text links. I'm personally not fond of having others host or serve my creatives.

  20. #13
    baldidiot is offline Private Member
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    Likewise - I tend to use masked text links way more than anything else, so pixel tracking isn't really an option, is it?
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  21. #14
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    Actually, I have thought about this a little.

    If a link is followed that has a pixel attached to it, would not the pixel load as part of opening the link in a browser?

    If so we could use any text link with the pixel attached.

    Rick
    Universal4

  22. #15
    -Shay- is offline Public Member
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    Here's where there's a "disconnect" in the whole tracking issue in general.

    We use a tracking program (clicky) to track our site's visitors. If I am able to see that visitor in my stats, see that they've arrived on my site from google, observe that they arrived on page A, clicked on program B's review link, and then clicked my go link (masked affiliate link) to visit program B --- then why can ALL these visitors be tracked to me?

    the disconnect being that if I can see it in my stats, why do some programs have issues in showing the click - let alone crediting me for the player assuming that the visitor signs up and deposits in that very same browser session?

  23. #16
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    Well if they are cookie based and the user has cookies disabled, or they use one of the many anti tracking plugins, or they have a trojan which steals affiliate links, or the user is using "in-private browsing"...or....or...

    The best we can hope for in more dialog with the programs to come up with the best forms of tracking so that both sides are more confident moving forward toward a solution that works for all browsers and platforms. Those that are unwilling to adapt and provide better solutions may not have the exposure and positive recommendations as those that do.

    I am actually quite confident also, that many of the programs will be responsive and help come up with better solutions.

    Rick
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  25. #17
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    I really like the sound on the fingerprint tracking that Corey mentioned - maybe that's the way forward.
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  26. #18
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    Yea I read a little about that the other day, and I suspect that many of the privacy/conspiricy types will try to lobby against this functionality.

    This will be wrongly by those groups as being the answer for governments to track everyone when it is really about advertising.

    I have never once (EVER) visited a website that claims all advertisers use intrusive tracking methods that didn't set their own cookies for their sites as well as cookie based advertisers. Every article out there that talks about how bad cookies are, uses them. HYPOCRITS

    Rick
    Universal4

    Two perfect examples
    http://www.propublica.org/article/me...sible-to-block
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/adamtann...at-comes-next/

    Both of the above articles infer that cookies are bad, and that the new technology is worse, but BOTH of them use cookies and cookie based advertising.

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  28. #19
    -Shay- is offline Public Member
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    Two years later and there's still an inability to track certain browsers by Income Access. Once again, if I can follow a visitor from one of my sites to another via MY tracking program, why can't you follow the visitors I send to your programs?

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    Hi Shay,

    Can you please be more specific in terms of which browsers you are referring to?


    Thanks,
    Allan

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