then how do affiliate networks track sales conversions?
for example, an affiliate link might look like this:
now at that point a cookie is written, lasting say 30 days, what's in the cookie I dont know. im guessing the affiliateID.
the user checks out domain.com and doesn't buy anything.
29 days later, the customer visits domain.com again and buys something. on the final chekout page after the sale there is a small web bug like this.
<img src="http://example-network.com/check" width="1" height="1">
and somehow unless im missing something, the sale is recorded on the affiliate network for that affiliateID, and the affiliate credited. with a percentage.
the same thing happens with Google AdWords. If you signup for an account your ad links look like this..
[google.com...] numbers and letters>&adurl=http://www.mydomain.com
a cookie written at this point.
How would google know that a user clicked on a certain keyword and ended up at the thank you page? or how does the affiliate network know that a user came back 29 days later to buy something?
[edited by: jatar_k at 9:58 pm (utc) on Sep. 28, 2006]
[edit reason] removed code dump [/edit]