In regards to cookies and tracking. Cookies are only needed for online shopping carts and other events that are related. The reason for this is that each time you enter a URL in your browser it is a separate transaction. The web server does not associate it with any other URLs you entered. The Cookie is a small file that ties those associated transactions together. For example if you purchase item #1, the cookie will track item #1 so when you start a new transaction like looking at your shopping cart, the server can look at the cookie to see what is supposed to be in the cart.
Tracking a customer can have value, but most of that value is already done by the time the customer gets to a website. It is important for a website to know where a potential customer came from and what search term they used. This helps the web site owner track their advertising expenses. There is no particular person associated with this. It is only the information that tells us that some customer searched on the term "12-Volt TV" from the Google search engine. That's it. It doesn't tell us if they actually bought something. This is not done via a cookie, but instead is done via the browser. It is normally done through the URL parameters that the browser passes to the server.
Tracking everything a customer does would tell us not only where they came from and what term they used, but also if and what they purchased. Obviously that would be more useful to the website owner because now they not only know how many people came from a particular search engine and searched on a particular term, (called impressions), but they would also know how many of them actually purchased (call conversions). RoadTrucker® has chosen not to track this aggressively. We only track a URL when it is necessary like keeping your shopping cart until you are through with it, then the cookie is discarded.
Some websites are tracking every image that is downloaded so they can change them if you go back to a webpage. We personally feel this is obnoxious and from the statistics we have read only about 23% of web surfers don't mind this. The overwhelming majority, 56.9% do mind and another 20% are not sure. This was a poll taken by eMarketer just recently. The problem here is they rob you of the fast downloads when you return to previous pages because they want to put new ads in front of you. Normally the page would be taken from your cache which is the area every page and image you see is downloaded to on your computer. You save the download time. Literally millions of these cookies slow page loading even though they are very small files.
In our personal browsing, we block all 3d party cookies and have found that some websites have several different companies all placing cookies on your system, even when you first show up. Sometimes 20 to 30 cookies for 1 single page. We feel that is ridiculous and have started to avoid, what we feel are, overly aggressive websites, as we do those who use those obnoxious unrequested pop-ups or hijack our browser in any way, shape, or form. Two tricks in particular that will get a website banded by our firewall are adding an unrequested shortcut or bookmark and changing our home page to their URL.
There are also cookies being used by some of the Google ads we have on our miscellaneous pages (for example our Links page). These ads are supposed to be from Trucking associated companies. Outside of that, most of our site should basically be cookie free. Regardless if you click on one of our links or on an advertisement and you feel it was misleading in any way or the website was obnoxious, let us know and we will remove it. If you'd prefer not to see these links or advertisements, just avoid our ancillary pages. As we grow and learn more about tracking our advertising dollars we may add more. At most we would want to know what search term and search engine was used to purchase what item. Especially when it is a pay per click search engine. Should we at RoadTrucker® change our policy, we will immediately let you know and the reason why we made the change. As always we appreciate hearing your comments and opinions.