AdSense Referrals 2.0 Out of Beta

Google announced today that the new referrals program is out of beta and will soon be available to all publishers.

AdSense referrals is a program that lets you put ads on your site, but instead of being payed per view or per click, you get payed per action. That means in order to get paid the user has to click on the ad and then complete some action such as joining a newsletter or making a purchase. This means that you don’t get paid as often, but when you do get paid its usually a much higher payout then you would for a click. These pay-per-action models are usually associated with affiliate programs.

I’m lucky enough to have been in the initial beta and I have experimented with the referral program. I have had some success, but nothing very dramatic. I think it is worth a try, but I think there are some disadvantages with it compared to some other CPC programs. The two main ones are:

  1. You cannot choose the text you want to link with. One great thing about most affiliate programs is that you get to choose what text you want to link with. This makes it easy to slip the link into your normal content with it sounding awkward. This can help raise conversion rates significantly.
  2. You cannot choose which page to link to. With most affiliate programs, you can link to any page on a site you want. For example if you are an affiliate and you write a review of a book, you can link directly to the book’s page on Amazon. With AdSense referral you are stuck linking to the page the advertiser chooses, usually the home page.

One advantage of AdSense referral programs is that you can chose the keywords you want to use to display ads. If you have ever had trouble targeting AdSense for Content ads, this could be a great option for you. You can even choose individual ads that you want to display on your site. Again, if you are in a small niche, this could be a great way to get some very targeted ads.

Again, even though there are disadvantages to it, I would advise most publishers to give it a try. You never know which advertising option is going to work best for you.

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