The Most Valuable Cookie

by Christopher Wendels on oktober 15, 2010

In order for me to properly set the mood for this post, it is appropriate for you to watch this short clip.

Embed video:

This Cookie is Junk!
Cookie Monster Deleted CookieYou hear me. The cookies you are using right now are junk. If it were in my power to rip your cookies away from your code and chuck them over the hedge I would. There is nothing more important to an affiliate marketer than cookies. In fact, if you do any marketing online you really need those cookies. With Private Browsing aka. Incognito Mode, data privacy concerns and loony “watchdog” groups it’s time to start using some more, shall we say, appropriate tactics.

I know of cookies so valuable that they are hand-placed in every nook and cranny of your visitors system.

Users Hate Cookies
Sad Missing CookieCookies are your friend. They make the web a nicer place to live. Even the name “cookie” is sweet. Imagine a world where we didn’t have any cookies. Look at Hammy. You take away his cookie and he has a sad. That is exactly how website owners feel when users throw away their cookies. Users are just mis- or uninformed.

Enter the Evercookie
A while back I found something really cool. It is known as the evercookie. No other cookie has ever been harder to get rid of. The evercookie is so much more that just a HTTP cookie. If you got excited when you learned how to utilize Flash cookies then get ready to have your mind blown.
Evercookie is not one cookie. Evercookie is an advanced system used to place and replace cookies even after they have been deleted.

How Evercookie Works
Using javascript evercookie places cookies in as many forms and places as you can think of… and some places you never thought of placing cookies. What makes the system brilliant is that if evercookie finds that one or more of the originally placed cookies is missing, it is replaced. The different types of cookies that evercookie uses are:

  • Standard HTTP Cookies
  • Isolated Storage (Silverlight)
  • Web History
  • Flash Cookies (Local Shared Objects)
  • HTTP ETags
  • window.name caching
  • Web cache
  • HTML 5 (Session, Local, Global and Database)

All You Need Is One Cookie
Evercookie only needs to find one of the above cookies and it will be able to replace all the “missing” cookies right away. What I’d like to know is if evercookie will replace all cookies or just the one specific to the website it is being run on. Waiting to hear back on that.