Today’s reader question is – ‘I would like to know your views on Google referral ads. Do you make money out of them, or is it something to run away from?’ – submitted by gabo_uy.
Google AdSense Referrals are the CPA ads (cost per action) from the popular AdSense service. At the time of writing this they have four products for their publishers to choose from (AdSense itself, AdWords, Google Pack and Firefox plus Google Toolbar). Putting it most simply – if a reader makes that you send to one of these services does a certain thing (they are different in each case) you then get paid a certain amount.
For example if I refer someone to the Firefox plus Google Toolbar and they actually download and use it I get paid $1. If someone someone downloads and installs the Google Pack I get $2. If someone signs up for AdWords and spends $5 within 90 days as an advertiser I get $5 etc (full details of what you can earn for different conversions here).
So onto gabo_uy’s question – do I make money from the Google referral program?
There’s a short answer and a long one.
The short answer
Yes I make money from the Google AdSense Referral Program.
The long answer
I’ve had very mixed success with AdSense Referrals.
I’ve attempted to promote all four of their products (in fact there used to be a fifth – the Picassa photosharing service) and the only two that I’ve had returns on that have amounted to anything are the AdSense and AdWords programs.
I’m not sure I can give specific details of my conversions on the referrals program – but let me make these observations on my own earnings:
- Earnings have Improved this month – I’ve been using them since they began the program in November 2005. In that time I’ve earned earned a bit over $2900 from the program (almost completely from the AdWords and AdSense products). However a around half of what I’ve earned has been earned in the 2 months since they changed their payout system to reward publishers at lower conversion levels
- The conversion rates are very low in my experience. Despite having a site that is fairly closely related to AdSense (and a lesser extent AdWords) the percentages of those clicking on the referral links/buttons is incredibly low. The percentage of those who click that actually convert to the thresholds that AdSense require is even lower (although the 1 Feb changes will help this).
So my overall reflections on the Google AdSense Referral program are mixed. There has definitely been some improvement of late with it due to both the changes AdSense made but also as a result of a few changes in the way I use it.
Tomorrow I want to write a second post on Google AdSense Referrals – this time asking ‘how can you make them perform better?’ In this post I’ll share some of the changes I’ve made over the last couple of months that have helped improve my earnings from them.