FAQ Publisher Guide

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Frequently Asked Questions by Publishers - Beginner's Reference Guide

What is an Advertiser?

An Advertiser, sometimes referred to as the 'merchant' or 'retailer', is an online company which sells its products and/or services through a Publisher network. The Advertiser will either pay a percentage of the customer's basket value or a fixed amount of commission upon completion of a certain action (in most cases, a sale) to the Publisher.

To find out more information on our Advertiser commission rates you can check the Advertiser Directory in the interface.

What is a Publisher?

A Publisher is the owner or manager of a website (also referred to as an 'affiliate' or 'partner').

Publishers earn commission when a site visitor clicks on a publisher link, (for example, a banner, logo or text), directing to a particular Advertiser's website and performs a certain action. Usually, this is completing a transaction. However, some Advertisers may ask Publishers to refer them traffic that results in a lead. This can include completion of an online application form, or submission of a User's email address.

Please click here to see a full guide to signing up as a Publisher .

In recap:

  • An Advertiser is someone who has a product to sell
  • A Publisher is someone who advertises products

What type of Publisher am I?



Cashback Publishers have a member base that earn monetary rebates from online purchases.

Communities & User-Generated-Content (UGC)

Community Publishers host online environments where groups of people interact together with Publisher links included where appropriate.

Comparison Engine

Comparison Publisher sites compare the prices and features of searched-for products available from a number of online stores.

Content Creators & Influencers

Content Creators & Influencers Publishers are active in driving traffic through personally opinionated content blogs and/or social media platforms.

Discount Codes

Discount code websites list discounts, coupon codes and other deals which may be redeemed at Advertiser websites or stores.

Editorial Content

Editorial Content Publishers write copy to engage an audience on a specific topic with Publisher links included where appropriate.

Lead Generation (Content)

Lead-based Publishers generate prospective consumer interest for Advertiser products or services via websites.


Loyalty Publishers have a member base that earn non-monetary rebates such as points, miles and tokens from online purchases.

Media Content

Media Content Publishers produce video, music and pictures with Publisher links included where appropriate.

Shopping Directory

Shopping Directory Publishers list business information such as sector, website and store description for numerous Advertisers.

Virtual Incentive

Virtual Incentive Publishers encourage their audience to take up Advertiser offers in return for in-game rewards such as virtual currency, bonuses and power-ups.


Ad Networks

A Publisher who buys ad space on numerous websites (creating a network) with the intention of serving Advertiser creative across this network of sites.

Contextual Targeting

Publishers who display advertising relevant to the content of the web page the User is browsing.

Direct Traffic

A Publisher that displays creative to their audience in the form of banners, pop-ups and exit traffic adverts.

Media Brokers

A Publisher who buys exit traffic and opportunities from website owners.

Mobile Traffic

Mobile Traffic Publishers purchase display inventory across mobile enabled platforms including apps, games and websites.

Retargeting (Display)

Behavioural Retargeting displays personalised advertising on third-party websites to customers who have previously visited the Advertiser's site, specifically displaying products in which they have shown recent interest.

Social Traffic

Social Networking Publishers purchase display inventory on social networks.

Sub Networks

A collection of Publishers owned by numerous third-parties brought together and being seen to operate as one single Publisher.


Lead Generation (Email)

Lead-based Email Publishers generate prospective consumer interest or enquiries into products or services for Advertisers via email.


Newsletter Publishers produce a content-rich email distributed to an owned, shared or rented database.

Retargeting (Email)

Email Retargeting generates a personalised email for customers who have exited the Advertiser's site during the checkout process. The email will only make reference to the product(s) that were abandoned.


Comparison Shopping Service (CSS)

A Comparison Shopping Service (CSS) publisher will collect products via product feeds and serve ads on Google search results on behalf of an advertiser.

Direct Linking

Publishers that navigate the User from 'search engine results' to the 'Advertiser's website' with no other interim stages.

Domain Parking

Domain Parking is the registration of an Internet domain name with a distinct absence of content. Publishers who own these domains often populate the associated landing pages with paid search adverts.

Linking via Landing Pages

Publishers that navigate the User from 'search engine results' to the 'Advertiser's website' with at least one interim stage (usually a landing page).

Mobile Search

Publishers that run search advertising campaigns that navigate the User from 'search engine results' on a mobile device (such as a smart phone) to the 'Advertiser's website'.

Social Search

Publishers that run search advertising campaigns which navigate the user from 'social media websites' to the 'Advertiser's website'.

How do I get traffic to my site?

There are two main ways to get traffic to your site: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC)


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of increasing the volume of traffic to a website from search engines via 'natural' (or 'organic') search results. The higher a site is listed or 'ranked', the more visible it will be to the User.

In order to boost the ranking of your site you will need to consider how search engines work and what Users are likely to search for. Optimising your website will therefore involve continual editing and refining of your content in order to increase ts relevancy to Users, and to improve its natural search listings.


Pay Per Click (PPC) involves paying a search engine each time a User clicks on a link to visit either an Advertiser's website or your own site. You will typically bid on popular keywords and/or phrases relevant to your target market to ensure that you only pay when you believe there is a chance of a sale.

When a User types a keyword query matching your specified keyword list, your advertisement may be displayed. These advertisements are called sponsored links or ads, and appear adjacent to or above the 'natural' or organic results on search engine results pages. Content websites commonly charge a fixed price for a click.

How does Awin track sales?

Awin tracks all sales made using Awin Publisher links using cookies.

The tracking process:

1. The User (most likely a customer) visits a Publisher website

2. The User clicks through the Publisher link, via the Network (Awin), to the Advertiser website

3. The Network records the click and drops a tracking cookie on the User's device

4. The User is re-directed to the Advertiser website and, if applicable, the Network subsequently drops one or more tracking cookies from the Advertiser's domain onto the User's device

5. The User purchases an item from the Advertiser website

6. The Advertiser order confirmation page contains the Network conversion tracking

7. The Network links the Advertiser conversion request with the previously dropped tracking cookies present on the User's device

8. Information is passed to the Network, allowing Awin to record the sale. This information includes the Advertiser ID, the last click referring Publisher ID (contained within cookie(s)), Unique Order Reference, total sale amount and the commission group breakdown

9. The Network allocates the correct commission based on the information passed in the conversion request and the pre-defined reward set by the Advertiser (a set amount per transaction or a percentage of the total sale amount)

10. Commissions are approved or declined by the Advertiser dependent on the order being fulfilled

11. Publishers can view these commissions on the Network interface

Notes on point 3:

The dropped cookie is referred by Awin and is stored on the Network's domain. This would be considered a third-party cookie from an Advertiser's perspective.

There are three kinds of links a user could click on to move from a Publisher site.

1) Text Links. This is an Awin link behind a hyperlink contained in text on the Publisher's site.

2) Banners. This is an Awin link behind Advertiser creative (banner or logo) displayed on the Publisher's site.

3) Product Feeds. This is when a Publisher uses a Data Feed from an Advertiser to display particular products on the Publisher's site. There is an Awin link behind each product.

Notes on point 4:

The Advertiser will already have added a small script onto all pages which will allow for our system to send through a unique variable to then be stored on the domain URL. This is considered a first-party cookie from an Advertiser’s perspective and is therefore ITP compliant.

Notes on point 5:

A sale is only tracked if it is completed. This means the User has to submit the required information and payment details specified by the Advertiser and reach the Advertiser ‘confirmation page’ before it will be tracked as a sale and accredited to the Publisher. If a User leaves the transaction during the payment process the sale will not be tracked and the Publisher will receive no commission.

Notes on point 6:

All Awin Advertisers are required to implement Awin tracking on their site, so that Awin can match this to the information stored in the Publisher links and in the cookies dropped on the User’s device.

Notes on point 7:

Awin tracks sales on a ‘last referrer’ basis. This means that if a User visits two Publisher sites before purchasing something from an Advertiser, only the last visited Publisher will receive commission. If both publishers are using Awin links, Awin will overwrite the first cookie with a another one to indicate that the second publisher should receive the commission. This means there will only ever be one Awin cookie per transaction per Advertiser on a User’s device. However, certain Advertisers will have an attribution model, paying commission out to both last click and initial referrer, for example. If one Publisher is using Awin links and the other Publisher is using links for a different network, the Advertiser should provide data to Awin and the other network to indicate which Publisher should receive commission. This process is called ‘de-duplication’.

Policy/Guidelines on Link Disclosure for Influencer and Social Media Publishers

As a Publisher, you are obliged to make it clear to consumers when your content contains advertising material. As an approved Awin Publisher you have agreed to follow local laws and standards as stipulated in section 9.2.4 and 9.2.5 of the Publisher terms and conditions.

When working with Awin as an Influencer or Social Media Publisher you are required at the minimum to:

Clearly define all advertising related content using clearly marked hashtags e.g. #Ad, #PaidAd #sponsorship, #sponsoredpost

Failure to do so could result in penalties being levied by your local advertising authority.

For more information we strongly urge you to read up on this topic to make sure that you are following the latest laws and standards as it is your responsibility to adhere to them. Below you can find websites with more information.

Regional References on Latest Laws and Standards










Disclaimer: Awin is not responsible for the updating of content in these links. Please ensure that you make sure that the information you are reading is up-to-date.

Advertising Methods and Activities Not Permitted on the Network

The following list provides an overview of advertising methods and activities that are not permitted on the Awin network:

  • Blocking or interfering with referrer URL Data transmissions unless pre-agreed in writing
  • Using Advertiser links to mislead visitors in terms of anything other than carrying out a valid transaction. This includes carrying out transactions based on malicious or intended deception
  • Automatically initiating or conducting transactions
  • Use links to an Advertiser site that have not been provided or approved by Awin
  • Solicit Advertisers without prior approval
  • Spamming or the use of unsolicited emailing marketing
  • Distributing any form of incomplete, out-of-date or misleading information regarding advertiser goods or services
  • The adoption, use or registration attempt of any trademarks or trade names that are confusingly similar to Awin or any Advertiser
  • Asserting copyright, trademark or other intellectual property ownership or other proprietary rights in any IP Materials
  • The utilisation of any form of click bot
  • Forcing clicks in any way
  • Grabbing domains or any domain content
  • Using invisible IFRAMES to play code
  • Publishing or sending any advertising that is deemed ‘unfair’ via emails, newsgroups, forums or other telecommunication means
  • Refer to this guide about Downloadable software activities File:Network Partnership with Software Publishers - Guideline.pdf

Publishers must adhere to these guidelines at all times.

Any questions should be directed to the Awin Publisher Success

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Visit the Wanted Pages area of the Wiki to learn how to get your desired content added.


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