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What is a tracker and TDS in CPA marketing and why is it needed


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Who it is for

  • 1. webmasters
  • 2. affiliate

The concept of "tracker" and "TDS" is often confused with each other. In addition, the majority of webmasters still do not use the tracker at all, relying on the statistics in the affiliate programs dashboard and the advertising account of their traffic source ... which is fundamentally wrong and fraught with large financial losses. Today we understand what a tracker and TDS are, why they are needed and what they are.

What is a tracker in affiliate marketing

A tracker is a tool for collecting data about an advertising campaign, tracking conversions, and distributing incoming traffic. The tracker provides information about visits to targeted links: it identifies the visitor's IP address, their device, installed operating system, screen size, time zone, search queries, UserAgent (user ID), browser version, and also collects data from the referral link (UTM- tags and subaccounts).


TDS (Traffic Distribution System) is a tool for traffic distribution. It acts as a narrowly focused tracker that divides visitors into groups according to specified parameters, after which certain content is shown for each audience stream (or redirected to a separate site).

TDS can filter users by GEO, return residual traffic to Trafficback URL, separate users using mobile and desktop versions of the site.



Tracker types

According to the format of work, TDS and trackers are divided into two types:


  • Cloud. Includes software and server that will be used for work. Capacity maintenance takes place on the service side - the webmaster only needs to pay for the package with the required number of actions and complete the settings.
  • Self-hosted. Includes software only. The arbitrageur places it on his own server or hosting, independently installs the software and maintains the capacity. 


The server solution is cheaper, but it requires a strong technical background from the webmaster and may be beyond the power of a beginner. Cloud, on the contrary, is much easier to operate, but requires more significant financial investments.


For instructions on installing a server tracker, see the article: "How to install a tracker on a server for free". 

Why does a webmaster need a tracker when working in CPA marketing

With the help of the tracker, the webmaster analyzes campaign performance, maintains statistics and tracks conversions through postback. The information received makes it possible not only to manage advertising more effectively, but also to defend your rights in front of the CPA network / advertiser more reasonably.


For example, the tracker will help to timely detect discrepancies in statistics with an affiliate program. In the case of a shive, the data obtained will serve as the basis for the proceedings.


Trackers are also used to hide links from CPA networks and undergo moderation on advertising platforms (cloaking).


In addition, using the tracker, you can divide a large volume of visitors (from 10,000 daily) into several streams. For example, an arbitrator buys traffic without a clear division by GEO for one link and wants to monetize it through different affiliate programs. Then he sets up segmentation by IP and redirects each group to the desired site.



Editorial comment AffJournal

Tracker and TDS in most cases are not indispensable tools in a webmaster's arsenal, but they can significantly increase work efficiency. Their development opens up more opportunities for the affiliate to optimize the campaign and create new links, which is reflected in the amount of money earned.


It is worth remembering that when working with gray verticals, the use of a tracker or TDS is mandatory due to the need for content substitution. Therefore, the faster a webmaster learns to use these tools in his work, the more ideas he will be able to implement.



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