Seeking Alpha has the scoop on a new type of income stream that Google are approaching some publishers to test that is on a Cost Per Action (CPA) basis – ie you get paid when someone clicks your ads and then takes some sort of action (ie buys a product, gives an email address for the advertiser to follow up on etc). This is another step by AdSense towards an affiliate program approach (something they’d already explored with their referral system).
The ads do not appear in the same place as your other contextual AdSense text ads – instead you set up another ad unit for them.
What I find interesting is that AdSense are allowing publishers to actively promote these products. Check out this part of their invitation email:
“Since this is a test and these CPA ads are not regular ad units, we are giving you more flexibility in saying things like “I recommend this product” or “Try JetBlue today” next to the CPA ad unit. However, you should still not incite someone to click on the ad, so saying ‘Click Here’ is not ok.”
THAT is quite interesting and I’m sure is something that will cause a stir.
Did you get an invitation? What do you think about Google moving into CPA/Affiliate programs?
Read what publishers think about this new test in the forums at:
Update: The more I think about this the more I realise that this could significantly change things on many levels for AdSense publishers and AdWorlds advertisers. Here are a few initial thoughts as I rush out the door today (keep in mind I’ve only seen this news 10 minutes ago – hope this makes sense):
- For example if an advertiser is given an opportunity to pay for a ‘click’ or a ‘sale’ I think quite a few of them will go for the latter option and will be willing to pay for it.
- This could have two impacts – firstly it might bring new advertisers into the system – good for publishers. Secondly it could see less advertisers using the CPC system (not so good for publishers who focus upon it).
- I think we’ll see some publishers working on some very convincing sales pages for products – if you’ve got copywriting skills I think you could do quite well out of this. I suspect we’ll start seeing more ‘made for CPC type web pages’ that will be very focussed upon preselling products. We’ll also see the publishers of these pages getting more into driving traffic to them using Adsense/Adwords Arbitrage (ie paying for traffic via CPC in the hope of converting that traffic to bring in higher income via their pre-selling pages).
I get the feeling things are going to change if AdSense pushes this beyond testing.