The end of redirect tracking: what is the threat to the industry in this era of blocking?
All tracking requests might soon be blocked at the browser level. Firefox now wants to delete cookies generated via redirects. In the long term, this may lead to the scenario when publishers are no longer able to earn money through affiliate networks that use redirect tracking. Fortunately, we have a solution.
Mozilla Firefox has announced ETP 2.0, the new Enhanced Tracking Protection policy. Every 24 hours, the browser will delete cookies used by affiliate networks and other trackers. This setting will be enabled by default for all browser users. In doing so, Mozilla wants to protect users from data collection without their consent and to limit the power of redirect tracking.
Mozilla is one of the first companies to have announced such innovations but other browsers are very much likely to follow the pattern in the coming year. For example, Safari has already discussed active work in this direction and Google has banned serial redirects for Google Ads in Android and plans to do so for other devices.
Where is the threat for publishers?
Mozilla’s market share is currently small (approx. 8%), but if larger browsers join the trend and restrict redirect tracking in all the other ways, this could have an adverse effect on everyone including publishers, advertisers and affiliate networks.
Redirect tracking is a method of transferring information on clicks from publishers to advertisers via intermediary platforms. And these platforms will ultimately be significantly affected by browser restrictions.
Let’s take Admitad as an example:
- The user clicks on the affiliate link leading to the advertiser’s site.
- At first, the user is redirected to the affiliate network’s site (ad.admitad.com). This site drops a cookie with the unique click number (admitad_uid) on the user’s browser and redirects the user to the advertisers’ site.
- The advertiser’s site also records the admitad_uid via GET-parameters from the affiliate link.
- When the user performs a target action, the advertiser’s site also sends the admitad_uid to the affiliate network.
If Firefox deletes the cookie at the second stage, this tracking method will become impossible to accomplish. We strongly believe that ultimately ETP 2.0 is one of the first steps to not only delete cookies, but also to ban redirects entirely. And if it is so, publishers may soon not be able to get any reward.
The Firefox update for Admitad publishers: nothing to worry about!
In the solution offered by Admitad the cookies created during the redirect are not required for tracking purposes. The unique click ID, used by the affiliate network to assign the reward to the right publisher, is stored on the advertiser’s side – with the user’s consent.
Moreover, we are already preparing to release a pack of solutions that do not use redirect tracking. They will allow Admitad partners to protect their traffic and consequently save their revenue.
Follow the announcements in our blog, newsletters and messages from your account manager. We will soon tell you all about the new tool and you will have the chance to test it on your site. Stay tuned!