First click affiliate cookies program and its downside

First click affiliate cookies program and its downside

Have you ever been to two shops selling the same item and bought it from the second shop? If yes, did you pay the money to the first shop after purchasing the item from the second shop?

This is exactly how the first cookie affiliate programs work and that’s the reason I never support or like this strategy adopted by many affiliate networks and products.

Today, we will discuss about the first click affiliate programs that pay the website where the user first clicked on the affiliate link and purchased it from another website.

Why should the first website which did not make the sale get paid?

This is the point often debated in the affiliate scene and the justification that such affiliate program gives is that they pay the website who actually introduced the product to the buyer for the first time. To an extent this is true, but we have to remember the fact that, that particular seller failed to sell the product to them – else the user would have purchased from them right away.

Why do such programs fail to reward the real quality webmasters?

Often I have observed that when a product is released in to the market, loads of websites with NO VALUE pop up with SEO centric domain names like:,, etc and steal the SEO priority from legitimate websites reviewing the product sincerely.

A genuine user who is seriously interested to know more about the product and purchase the same often falls prey to such low quality blogs or websites hoping to read some useful information, but sadly leaves the website without purchasing the product from the website.

Later when the user finds the more legitimate website or blog that clearly explains the features and successfully convinces the potential buyer, the affiliate income is credited to the first website that referred the user. The reason for this is the cookie that is stored on the user’s machine on his first visit.

How to avoid losing the affiliate commission to such websites

You have two options to tackle this situation:

  1. Avoid promoting first click cookie affiliate products and programs
  2. Offer incentives to the users to purchase from your website and request them to clear the cookies before purchasing to make sure they are eligible for the offer.

As and when you sign up with affiliate programs to promote products, it is a good idea to enquire with the affiliate support team if the product was a first click affiliate cookie enabled or last click cookie program.

Hope this article has opened your eyes to the fact on how you could lose your affiliate income and thereby wasting your efforts for someone else who blasts their links to every corner of the internet pointlessly.