Subscribe for 50% off
Subscribe

Quit Bugging Me!

Many online affiliates are being bitten by software that wrongly credits Web site referrals. Are you a victim?

By
This story appears in the March 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Small online merchants who are members of the Web'saffiliate marketing programs are becoming concerned about arelatively new technology referred to as parasiteware, whichcredits the wrong party when online stores tally commissions forWeb referrals. In typical affiliate transactions, consumers clickon a link from a Web site that points to a product on a merchantsite such as Amazon.com. If a customer decides to buy the product,Amazon pays its affiliated Web site operator a commission for thesale, which is usually 5 to 15 percent of the purchase price.

Now, some online merchants are noticing they are not gettingtheir commissions. Why? In some cases, parasiteware overwrites,intercepts, appends to or changes a performance marketing trackinglink so that credit is registered to a third party for whom thelink was not originally coded.

Cyber Monday Subscription Sale - Unlock this subscriber exclusive article and more for 50% off.

Access all Entrepreneur content with no ads, unlock discounts, and get exclusive advice only available to our subscribers. Plus, our magazine delivered straight to your door.
Get 50% off an annual subscription today. Just use code SAVE50 at checkout.

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks