When writing this guide, we reached out to the marketer community to collect case studies and learnings about creative marketing strategies. Most of these examples are included throughout the guide, but some didn’t quite fit. So we included those loose ends here, from the perspective of four awesome marketers. What better way to wrap up this guide than with you, our community?
As you’ve already noticed, you’ll need to grow an email list to promote your affiliate products with the kinds of story-telling emails that Michael advocates. We all know that growing an email list runs beyond three steps. Then, you’ll have to learn the art of writing interesting emails to send to the list you grow. Alternatively, you’ll have to create and nurture a Facebook group, which isn’t a day’s job.
You will ensure that the information in your Associates Program application and information otherwise associated with your account on the Associates Site, including your email address, other contact information, and identification of your Site, is at all times complete, accurate, and up-to-date. We may send notifications (if any), approvals (if any), and other communications relating to the Associates Program and the Agreement to the email address then-currently associated with your Program account. You will be deemed to have received all notifications, approvals, and other communications sent to that email address, even if the email address associated with your account is no longer current.
(g) include any trademark of Amazon or its affiliates, or a variant or misspelling of a trademark of Amazon or its affiliates in any domain name, subdomain name, in any “tag” or Associates ID, or in any username, group name, or other identifier on any social networking site (see a non-exhaustive list of our trademarks listed on our Non-Exhaustive Trademark Table); or
If your audience is looking to launch an online business, migrate their ecommerce platform, or simply interested in ecommerce content, we encourage you to apply for the BigCommerce affiliate program. Our team will carefully review your application. Once approved, you will receive access to support, tracking, reporting, payments, and have your own unique affiliate link to track every referral you generate. BigCommerce is committed to the success of our affiliate partners.
Shifting the focus to the time span, we may need to measure some "Interim Metrics", which give us some insight during the journey itself, as well as we need to measure some "Final Metrics" at the end of the journey to inform use if the overall initiative was successful or not. As an example, most of social media metrics and indicators such as likes, shares and engagement comments may be classified as interim metrics while the final increase/decrease in sales volume is clearly from the final category.
Hi, Jamie! Very good list. I needed something like this for 2018 so that I know what to target in the future blogs I create. As for now, I’m comfortable using SiteGround affiliate network and it’s pretty good actually. Their hosting service is pretty much the best considered its price. I’ve tried others but SiteGround stands out. I’ll also try new affiliate networks, something from the list you have just provided. I think Amazon is too saturated at the moment, and I need a better network. 2018 will be interesting indeed.
Jerry is a young aspiring Internet Entrepreneur who started his online business at the age of 18. He is currently a Full-time Affiliate Marketer at Wealthy Affiliate, a community to help anyone start their own online business without prior experience. He actually achieved Financial Independence at the young age of 21. Read more about his story here!
There are plenty of guides to marketing. From textbooks to online video tutorials, you can really take your pick. But, we felt that there was something missing — a guide that really starts at the beginning to equip already-intelligent professionals with a healthy balance of strategic and tactical advice. The Beginner’s Guide to Online Marketing closes that gap.
Sponsored search (also called sponsored links, search ads, or paid search) allows advertisers to be included in the sponsored results of a search for selected keywords. Search ads are often sold via real-time auctions, where advertisers bid on keywords.[19]:118[53] In addition to setting a maximum price per keyword, bids may include time, language, geographical, and other constraints.[19]:118 Search engines originally sold listings in order of highest bids.[19]:119 Modern search engines rank sponsored listings based on a combination of bid price, expected click-through rate, keyword relevancy and site quality.[21]
After being accepted into an affiliate program, marketers receive a unique URL that includes their affiliate ID. They share that unique URL with their subscribers, site visitors, and social networks via text links or ads. When someone clicks on that link, affiliate software records that click and any resulting product sales in the affiliate’s account. When commissions reach a pre-determined threshold, the affiliate is paid.
Designed to create a huge amount of traffic at all times, these sites focus on building an audience of millions. These websites promote products to their massive audience through the use of banners and contextual links. This method offers superior exposure and improves conversion rates, resulting in a top-notch revenue for both the seller and the affiliate.
From time to time, we may run general special programs or promotions that may provide all or some Associates the opportunity to earn additional or alternative fees (“Special Program Fees”). For the avoidance of doubt (and notwithstanding any time period described in this section), Amazon reserves the right to discontinue or modify all or part of any special program or promotion at any time. Unless stated otherwise, all such special programs or promotions (even those which do not involve purchases of Products) are subject to disqualifying exclusions substantially similar to those identified in Section 2 of this Fee Statement, and any restriction under the Program Documents applicable to a Product purchase will also apply on a substantially similar basis as restrictions for special programs or promotions.
iii. You will link each use of Product Advertising Content to, and only to, the relevant page of an Amazon Site (for example, the relevant Product detail page or other page to which particular Product Advertising Content most directly relates), and you will not link any Product Advertising Content to, or in conjunction with any Product Advertising Content direct traffic to, any page of a site other than an Amazon Site (however, parts of your application that are not closely associated with Product Advertising Content may contain links to sites other than an Amazon Site).
In the 1990s, the term Digital Marketing was first coined,.[10] With the debut of server/client architecture and the popularity of personal computers, the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications became a significant part of marketing technology.[citation needed] Fierce competition forced vendors to include more service into their software, for example, marketing, sales and service applications. Marketers were also able to own huge online customer data by eCRM software after the Internet was born. Companies could update the data of customer needs and obtain the priorities of their experience. This led to the first clickable banner ad being going live in 1994, which was the "You Will" campaign by AT&T and over the first four months of it going live, 44% of all people who saw it clicked on the ad.[11]
However, even with a large number of transactions taking place, your website is capable of providing satisfactory service to every customer who makes a purchase online, without the risk of diminished satisfaction. This high adaptability of internet marketing is an important benefit that businesses can take advantage of to provide their consumers the best shopping experience.
Our agency can provide both offensive and defensive ORM strategies as well as preventive ORM that includes developing new pages and social media profiles combined with consulting on continued content development. Our ORM team consists of experts from our SEO, Social Media, Content Marketing, and PR teams. At the end of the day, ORM is about getting involved in the online “conversations” and proactively addressing any potentially damaging content.
Years ago, I used to blog a lot about SEO and link building, and I won some cool awards for my blogging. These days, I tend to keep more to myself than to write my thoughts and theories for the world. Though I may not write much for the public these days, I’m still reading all of the news and theories of others in this industry on a daily basis. I still live, sleep, and breathe SEO. Plus, we have Ann Smarty on our team, who blogs and writes enough across the Web to compensate for my not writing. 😊

Considering that most marketing involves some form of published media, it is almost (though not entirely) redundant to call 'content marketing' anything other than simply 'marketing'. There are, of course, other forms of marketing (in-person marketing, telephone-based marketing, word of mouth marketing, etc.) where the label is more useful for identifying the type of marketing. However, even these are usually merely presenting content that they are marketing as information in a way that is different from traditional print, radio, TV, film, email, or web media.
When it comes to the success of your business, internet marketing plays a key role. To market yourself and to promote your products and services, you need the support of internet marketing. If you are planning to start a business or you are on your way and want to improve your business you can hire an online marketing agency which takes care of all activities from designing the website for your business to implementing various marketing techniques including Internet marketing. Internet marketing will help you in improving your business brand visibility, traffic and sales. Below are the top 5 reasons why internet marketing is important for your business.
(d) You will not use any Program Content, including any name or likeness embodied in that Program Content, in a manner that implies a person’s or company’s endorsement or sponsorship of, or commercial tie-in or other association with, any product, service, party, or cause (including by placing unrelated third party materials in close proximity to Program Content).
This Local Associates Policy applies to any registered business that offers face-to-face customer experiences and that facilitates customer purchases on Amazon.com (“Local Associates Program”) operated by an Associate in one or more of its owned or operated facilities registered on the program portal at https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/local Associates Site (such portal, the “Local Associates Portal” and such facilities, the “Local Associates Facilities”). In order to participate in the Local Associates Program you must (A) be an owner or authorized employee of a registered business, (B) apply through the Local Associates Portal, (C) have your application accepted by Amazon, (D) not be also registered for the Amazon Associates Program, and (E) comply with the applicable provisions of the Associates Program Operating Agreement, including this Local Associates Policy.
While it is possible to see results from your marketing efforts quickly, the reality is that marketing, especially the type that generates long-term results and referrals, takes time. You're competing in an increasingly crowded and loud marketplace. The better you can connect with your ideal market and develop a relationship with it, the better your results will be. If you provide a great product or service and are attentive to your customers, your customers will provide you with positive reviews, referrals, and testimonials that will help you stand out in the crowd.
In the 2000s, with more and more Internet users and the birth of iPhone, customers started searching products and making decisions about their needs online first, instead of consulting a salesperson, which created a new problem for the marketing department of a company. In addition, a survey in 2000 in the United Kingdom found that most retailers had not registered their own domain address.[12] These problems made marketers find the digital ways for market development.
Website conversion is also a big issue. Affiliates often determine how much effort they will devote to promoting your product based on the Earnings per Click (EPC) that the merchant generates for them. This calculation is based on their commission rate and the conversion rate of your website. If you have a website that converts really well (gets people to make the purchase), you may be able to offer lower commission.
Digital marketing is also referred to as 'online marketing', 'internet marketing' or 'web marketing'. The term digital marketing has grown in popularity over time. In the USA online marketing is still a popular term. In Italy, digital marketing is referred to as web marketing. Worldwide digital marketing has become the most common term, especially after the year 2013.[19]
Amazon operates a volume-based advertising fee structure. The more products that are shipped as a result of your affiliate links, the more you'll make per sale. Once you have sold enough products to move up to a different advertising rate, all subsequent sales will give you commission at that rate, until and unless you reach the next fee level. Note that some products are exempt from this commission structure.
(f) are directed toward children or knowingly collect, use, or disclose personal information from children under 13 years of age or other applicable age threshold (as defined by applicable laws and regulations); or violate any applicable laws, ordinances, rules, regulations, orders, licenses, permits, guidelines, codes of practice, industry standards, self-regulatory rules, judgments, decisions, or other requirements of any applicable governmental authority related to child protection (for example, if applicable, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (15 U.S.C. §§ 6501-6506) or any regulations promulgated thereunder or the Children’s Online Protection Act);
An omni-channel approach not only benefits consumers but also benefits business bottom line: Research suggests that customers spend more than double when purchasing through an omni-channel retailer as opposed to a single-channel retailer, and are often more loyal. This could be due to the ease of purchase and the wider availability of products.[24]
Marketing has changed more in the past 10 years than it had in the previous 100—launching us out of the age of TV spots and print ads and into the age of websites, online video, social media, and Google. Consumers today are connected to the web 24/7—U.S. adults now spend upwards of 6 hours per day consuming digital media, and that doesn’t count those whose jobs are internet-dependent.

Affiliate marketing is one of the earliest forms of performance-based online marketing. The 90s ushered in the age of the internet. Organizations and individuals began creating websites and content in droves and – when search engines began cataloging websites and pages, making it easy to find and navigate to this content – marketing changed forever.
Let’s say that you’re running a company that specializes in shoes. Your customer base knows that you’re a shoe expert but also values your input on other high quality products — like handbags. Maybe your customers have asked you about handbags, and you find yourself recommending the same options over and over again. As a shoe vendor, you’re acting as a marketer for the handbag company.
Bonuses: Some merchants will offer bonuses for reaching certain sales thresholds, creating another opportunity to generate revenue for major affiliates. For example, a company may offer a $500 bonus to affiliates that generate $25,000 in sales in any given month. While only a very small percentage of affiliates will ever hit this target, it can translate to a higher effective commission rate (the extra $500 on $25,000 in sales is effectively an additional 2% commission). Here’s an example of a bonus commission offer (in this case, $625 for hitting the $25,000 mark and $1,250 for generating $50,000 in monthly sales):
(b) The Local Associates Products will be made available for Amazon customers to purchase through a specific page on Amazon.com assigned to each Local Associate (such page, the “Recommendations Page”). The Recommendations Page will include either a general Amazon.com search bar or a selection of Local Associates Products curated by you. Amazon reserves the right to modify the Products included in the Local Associates Products on any Recommendations Page. You must direct all Local Associates Program marketing to the Recommendations Page to be eligible for Qualified Purchases.
I started a blog which I plan to monetize only through affiliate marketing and my own products, no ads. I’ve been working on building an audience for my blog, for about 1 year and a half, many people think is maybe too much time, but I just want to make sure that I build enough trust with my readers before I start to try to make them buy something.
Find a program — As we discussed earlier, many affiliate marketers find their merchants, vendors, or brands through affiliate programs. It’s important you determine your niche prior to finding a program, as some programs are geared toward certain types of products. If you’re interested in a particular affiliate program, look into what kinds of products it offers and whether it has any data on the success of its affiliates.
You’re a great role model for ethical marketing Nathaniel. I don’t like Cheney at all. This product sounds very much like his email black ops which again is well presented but doesn’t work. He tries to convince you that you just have to do what he does and you’ll get the success he does. He gets away with what he does because he peppers all his material with claims of his huge income and five-hour work day. And he always uses his cheaper products to promote higher priced ones further along the funnel.
Shopify is probably the most popular e-commerce solutions provider out there, but because there are so many products and options, newcomers can easily get confused. If you believe your audience has products to sell and could benefit from Shopify’s products and are able to elucidate the benefits of signing up for Shopify, you can definitely earn some big money with their affiliate program.

Hi Miren, about six months ago, I was looking into the Commission Machine, and I liked what I saw at first.  It looked like Michael Cheney knew what he was talking about, and he made it look easy.  I agree with you, the overhyped introduction to the business was just a bit too good for me, and I backed out at the last minute.  You make some great points here, and people need to read this review.  Thank you for sharing your experiences with your readers.    Clay


Shopify is a very popular site building platform for people interested in building eCommerce stores. It has been around for the past few years and seen significant growth in its user base over this time. You can earn a staggering 200% per sale for every new customer you refer to them, which means that there is up to $2400 per new customer on offer.

Hi, my name is Minhaj and I run this site. I am an affiliate marketer, web designer and programmer. My main aim of this website is to show people how to start an online business through affiliate marketing although I do explore other options. I also hope to help people avoid falling into get rich quick schemes and scams that seem to be all over the web.If you have any questions or would like to contact me for anything relating to running an online business, contact me on info@paytoplayscam.com


Subject to the terms of the Agreement and solely for the limited purposes of participation in the Associates Program in strict compliance with the Agreement (including this License and the other Program Policies), we hereby grant you a limited, revocable, non-transferable, non-sublicensable, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to: (a) copy and display Program Content solely on your Site; (b) use only those of the Amazon Marks (as defined in the Trademark Guidelines) we make available to you as part of the Program Content, solely on your Site and in accordance with the Trademark Guidelines, and (c) access and use PA API, Data Feeds, and Product Advertising Content solely in accordance with the Specifications and this License.


For example, building up a big base of traffic won’t deliver much of a reward if you’re working with the wrong affiliate offers. Similarly, doing a great job marketing the ideal offers to an extremely small traffic base won’t translate into much revenue. Each of these three points must be implemented and improved together, or else you won’t see results.
If you are a forgetful person, do not forget to take note on your calendar the official launch date of Viral Commission Machine, which is on July 28, 2018. As my Viral Commission Machine Review has demonstrated, you had better take this tool into account if you are wondering how to build a professional business. The front-end price of Viral Commission Machine starts from $17. However, I suggest that you decide quickly before the price increases after taking a look at its price offers.
Disney initially stated they wouldn’t exceed one million in donations, but ended up donating two million after the campaign blew up. #ShareYourEars campaign garnered 420 million social media impressions, and increased Make-A-Wish’s social media reach by 330%. The campaign is a powerful example of using an internet marketing strategy for a good cause. #ShareYourEars raised brand awareness, cultivated a connected online community, and positively affected Disney’s brand image.
Many merchants will still give credit for this sale to the affiliate, even though the visitor came directly to the site and not through an affiliate link when they completed their purchase. This is a fair solution in many cases, since many customers take time to make a decision and commit to a purchase. In the scenario above, the affiliate still provided a valuable service to the merchant–getting the customer to their site–and deserves to be compensated for that.
These Associates Program policies (“Program Policies”) are incorporated by reference in the Associates Program Operating Agreement, and capitalized terms used in these Program Policies and not otherwise defined here will have the definitions provided in the Agreement. The rights and obligations of the parties under Sections 3 and 6 of the Associates Program Participation Requirements, Section 3 of the Associates Program IP License and Section 4(d) and 5 of the Associates Program Local Associates Policy will survive the termination of the Agreement. For the avoidance of doubt and without limitation for purposes of Section 6(a) of the Agreement, any violation of the Associates Program Participation Requirements, the Associates Program IP License, Section 1 of the Amazon Influencer Program Policy or Section 3 of the Associates Program Local Associates Policy will be deemed a material breach of the Agreement.

Also once you become a member by buying this product a couple of things will happen. First you’ll be put through a series of up-sells in order to get more money from you. This means that despite some people refunding they will still make more money from everyone joining. Also you’ll be put onto what we call in the industry as a “buyers list” this basically means you’ll be put onto an email list which contains 100% buyers. Marketers love these email lists because they know that everyone on the list is a proven buyer, so they will start promoting other products and services to you, knowing that you’ve bought before, meaning you are far more likely to buy again.
Part of the affiliate marketing game involves picking out merchant partners and products to promote. If you’re promoting a crap product, you can probably send some traffic through the affiliate link by doing a good job of marketing it to your audience. But once they get to the merchant site and are disappointed in what they see, they’re probably going to abandon.
Leadpages claims that its affiliate program is not exclusively for affiliate marketers, which is true, but the narrow focus of this niche means that only professionals affiliate marketers will ever be able to earn significant income from the program. Leadpages’s affiliate program does offer quite a lot of different options (webinars, videos, blog posts, free marketing courses, etc.) to send referrals to, which can lead to higher conversion rates if done correctly.

Cost per mille, often abbreviated to CPM, means that advertisers pay for every thousand displays of their message to potential customers (mille is the Latin word for thousand). In the online context, ad displays are usually called "impressions." Definitions of an "impression" vary among publishers,[58] and some impressions may not be charged because they don't represent a new exposure to an actual customer. Advertisers can use technologies such as web bugs to verify if an impression is actually delivered.[59][60]:59
I clicked on a number of products to see where it took me. It does appear that the products are connected to Amazon but one would never know it since the product that shows is not the same as the listing on Amazon.. I have started a site using Amazon Affiliate products and when a visitor clicks on a product on my site it takes them to the product listing on Amazon which looks totally differenet than the Gear Patrol listings.
I purchased ViralCommissionMachine and the Downsell 1 on July 31st and truly regret it! Since I kept getting phishing messages evert me I tried to login I submitted a ticket to fix the problem on August 9nth. Three days later none had responded. 5 days, 6 days and I kept asking why and none would ever answer me or even respond! So, I found the name of the creator and she said that she would look into it. That was three weeks ago.
Option 1: Payment by Direct Deposit. We will directly deposit the fees you earn into the bank account you designate once you have provided us with the name of your bank, the account number, the name of the primary account holder as it appears on the account, and other requested identifying information (such as the ABA, IBAN or BIC number, if applicable). If you have chosen payment by direct deposit and you do not provide this information, or it is not valid (for example, the account has been closed or changed), or the payment is otherwise rejected by your bank, you may instead receive payment by check which will be subject to the processing fees described below until you provide valid account information. If you select this option, we reserve the right to hold fees until the total amount due to you reaches the minimum stated in the Payment Minimum Chart.
After your site has been built out, creating a social media presence is the best second step for most businesses. All businesses should have a Facebook Page that’s fully fleshed out with plenty of information about your business. Depending on your audience, you can also start a Twitter, Instagram, and/or Pinterest account. Social media is a long-term commitment that requires frequently updating and monitoring, but it’s one of the best ways to build an online community around your business.
Content marketing is more than just blogging. When executed correctly, content including articles, guides (like this one), webinars, and videos can be powerful growth drivers for your business. Focus on building trust and producing amazing quality. And most of all, make sure that you’re capturing the right metrics. Create content to generate ROI. Measure the right results. This chapter will teach you how.
“Through our global affiliate network, we empower marketers to engage shoppers across the entire consumer journey. Affiliate success comes down to partnerships — we connect advertisers with publishers to reach new audiences and influence repeat purchases. Our solutions create a holistic strategy that delivers proven incremental revenue and is continually optimized for performance,” its website reads.
With the ability to rank organically in search engine queries, bloggers excel at increasing a seller’s conversions. The blogger samples the product or service and then writes a comprehensive review that promotes the brand in a compelling way, driving traffic back to the seller’s site. The blogger is awarded for his or her influence spreading the word about the value of the product, helping to improve the seller’s sales.

Affiliates are most successful when the products they promote match the interests of their followers and subscribers. In addition, many successful affiliate marketers advise recommending and promoting only products that the affiliate is personally familiar with. That’s because familiarity with the product, program, or service helps build trust between the affiliate and end-user.


Affiliate marketing doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s typically one of several marketing strategies a company is executing in concert. If you look at how each channel plays a role in customer sales, you get a fairly clear picture of which channels should be attributed to each sale. By resolving which channels create a higher cost of customer acquisition, you can optimize to help reduce those customer acquisition costs over time.
Find your affiliates and affiliate programs in all the right places --As humans, many of us hope to inherently trust one another. We’d like to believe that someone’s word is good. That a check will cash. That we’ll again see the man who said he’d pay us tomorrow. If you’ve spent even a smidgeon of time working as a freelancer, you know this isn’t always the case. People pay late, if at all. You turn in work, and the source contests it. In order to avoid disappointment and fraud, make sure you are using a legitimate network to find both merchants and affiliates.
What’s more, this training course is also a perfect choice for digital entrepreneurs. To be specific, it contains an over the shoulder blueprint on how to generate boatloads of free traffic for your product offers. Besides, the embedded case studies allow you to enhance the efficiency of your promotional strategies, as well as expand your market into several different niches.

These Associates Program policies (“Program Policies”) are incorporated by reference in the Associates Program Operating Agreement, and capitalized terms used in these Program Policies and not otherwise defined here will have the definitions provided in the Agreement. The rights and obligations of the parties under Sections 3 and 6 of the Associates Program Participation Requirements, Section 3 of the Associates Program IP License and Section 4(d) and 5 of the Associates Program Local Associates Policy will survive the termination of the Agreement. For the avoidance of doubt and without limitation for purposes of Section 6(a) of the Agreement, any violation of the Associates Program Participation Requirements, the Associates Program IP License, Section 1 of the Amazon Influencer Program Policy or Section 3 of the Associates Program Local Associates Policy will be deemed a material breach of the Agreement.
How much of your marketing strategy should be done online and which internet marketing elements you use depends on the nature of your business, your budget, your time, and your goals. Many small business owners do it all themselves in the beginning, but as their businesses grow, they begin to pay for services or outsource work to a virtual assistant that can help them with online marketing.
Affiliate marketing also is a very broad term; under this umbrella there are several different strategies that can be employed to generate affiliate revenue. The most appropriate and lucrative method (or methods) can depend on a number of factors, including your site’s niche and characteristics of your audience. Below is an overview of some of the most popular affiliate marketing implementations, along with examples of each. Click here to read more about the proven affiliate marketing strategies.
Content marketing: Writing articles or blog posts related to your business and submitting them to be published on other websites is another great way to reach your target market for free. Although mass distribution of a single article across the web doesn't have the same SEO benefits it once had, submitting exclusive articles to a specific site can still reap many rewards including SEO, boosting your credibility, and reaching a market that might not otherwise know about you. Because writing can be time-consuming, you may want to consider how you can repurpose what you write into other forms of content or with new angles for other audiences.
The hardest aspect of an affiliate marketing offer to evaluate may also be the most important. Your ability to drive traffic to merchant sites via affiliate links is one of the primary revenue drivers, and it depends in large part on the tools you’re given. These tools are the advertisements merchants have available for affiliates to use on their site. The better the ads are, this more clicks they will get.
Digital marketing activity is still growing across the world according to the headline global marketing index. A study published in September 2018, found that global outlays on digital marketing tactics are approaching $100 billion.[40] Digital media continues to rapidly grow; while the marketing budgets are expanding, traditional media is declining (World Economics, 2015).[41] Digital media helps brands reach consumers to engage with their product or service in a personalised way. Five areas, which are outlined as current industry practices that are often ineffective are prioritizing clicks, balancing search and display, understanding mobiles, targeting, viewability, brand safety and invalid traffic, and cross-platform measurement (Whiteside, 2016).[42] Why these practices are ineffective and some ways around making these aspects effective are discussed surrounding the following points.
The implementation of affiliate marketing on the internet relies heavily on various techniques built into the design of many web-pages and websites, and the use of calls to external domains to track user actions (click tracking, Ad Sense) and to serve up content (advertising) to the user. Most of this activity adds time[citation needed] and is generally a nuisance to the casual web-surfer and is seen as visual clutter.[citation needed] Various countermeasures have evolved over time to prevent or eliminate the appearance of advertising when a web-page is rendered. Third party programs (Ad-Aware, Adblock Plus, Spybot, pop-up blockers, etc.) and particularly, the use of a comprehensive HOSTS file can effectively eliminate the visual clutter and the extra time and bandwidth needed to render many web pages. The use of specific entries in the HOSTS file to block these well-known and persistent marketing and click-tracking domains can also aid in reducing a system's exposure to malware by preventing the content of infected advertising or tracking servers to reach a user's web-browser.[citation needed]
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