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AdSense Introduce a Validation Period for Referrals Program – a Sign of Conversion Fraud?

AdSense have made a change to their referral program by putting a validation periods on publishers when they display non Google products. In this period publishers earn a lower conversion commission while AdSense works out if your conversions are ‘valid’. Once the validation period ends you then will earn the maximum commissions on the product.

It seems like this a system to combat some sort of problem that AdSense must be having with invalid conversions (some sort of ‘conversion fraud’ perhaps?).

AdSense says that the validation periods will vary from product to product and attempt to sell the change by saying that it is to ensure the ‘long-term effectiveness of the referrals program for both publishers and advertisers.’

I’d be interested to hear if anyone who has tried the referrals program has seen any real conversions from any products other than the Google products (AdWords, AdSense, Firefox etc)? To be honest I’ve only ever found one blogger who seems to be doing any good with non Google referral products.

More details on this change at the AdSense Blog

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Mike Goad says:

    Typically, Google says that they can’t say how long the referral validation will last and that it will be different from publisher to publisher.

    I looked at the referrals when when it was expanded beyond the Google products, but I didn’t see anything I wanted to include on my site – plus I was skeptical about getting anything from it without having to slant my content.

  2. Tom Hanna says:

    I hardly get any clicks, let alone conversions with the Google Referrals products. And I was working really hard to get well targeted products appropriate to the blogs I used them on and optimize placement. Even when I resorted to outright asking people to check them out, I was getting less click through than with the normal Adsense ads and knocking down the regular Adsense revenue by using valuable screen real estate. This mirrors my experience with earlier affiliate programs – which is all Adsense Referrals really are. I’m not even sure, given the abysmally low numbers, that I’m not experiencing some of the same shaving that made me stop dealing with one of the big affiliate clearinghouses and go to Adsense ads in the first place.
    A thoroughly product oriented blog might have more success, but my experience with service and information oriented blogs is that the advertisers who want a sale *right now* shoot themselves and the publishers in the foot. The numbers I was looking at would have made me considerable revenue with a single conversion (some of them over $100) but when the ads don’t even merit a click, forget it.

  3. Veronica says:

    I haven’t had any conversions from non-Google products as of yet.

    I wonder if I should switch to Google products instead?

  4. We have only met one blogger who had substantial success with non-Google products.

    So, while it is certainly not impossible, it does not appear to be likely.

  5. Errol Mars says:

    I’ve had limited success with one non Google product. I haven’t really tried too much other products. Don’t really like the way the referral setup works. Will most likely not use it any more. Then again I’m still young in this online money making game.

  6. I’ve been using google referrals on a mortgage blog. The payout is very good. But, the problem is trying to get google to display relevant referral ads. Quite often the referral ads are not relevant. I hope google can sort it out, because it would be an extremely useful scheme

  7. Sangesh says:

    Your are always the first for us to stay updated.

    Thankx Darren.

  8. Ben says:

    Referral and product ads perform really poorly on my site. Basically, I use them as filler instead of using pictures for fillers. The Google validation period will not really effect me, so I’m not worried about it.

  9. fisker says:

    I dont know why but the adsense referral program didnt work out for me. But still I will continue with it till I succeed.

  10. Jimson Lee says:

    I’ve had limited success with one non Google referral product, but that particular product doesn’t appear any more, and was replaced by a “cheesy” ad.

    I also noticed using Text-link referral ads (no image ads) sometimes “hang” my sites, so I’m not too happy about that.

    Anyone else experience the same problem?

  11. Dave says:

    I’ve had a few click-thrus on non-google related referrals from my site, adnnd one conversion, which was quite a nice bonus for the day. As I’ve only run referrals on my site for a week or so, I’m hoping its the start of a beautiful realtionship.

    The downside is wondering whether the one conversion is greater than the earnings from a standard ad in the same position with multiple click-thrus. Only time can really tell on that one.

  12. Ken Dahlin says:

    I have one site which I use strictly for non-google conversions and I actively promote it. It returns about 3 times the money I put in to it, so it’s a keeper. I’m just a little concerned with this new development so I’m keeping a close eye on my returns for that campaign today.

  13. Initially when I put on referrals on my blog, for some reason I got more one my referrals than on Adsense… and I am talking really a lot more…

    I got one conversion which gave me around 70 dollars… which is hundreds of times more than I make from AdSense (i make a few dollars a month in AdSense earnings)…

    But lately, there have been no clicks on referrals, much less conversions…

  14. Bill says:

    I’m doing pretty well with Google Adsense. However, I have not made a single penny on referrals, involving either Google’s products or other products, since Google started the referral program, so I have no idea how much they pay when one finally does convert. I get a fair number of clicks per month, but none of them converted. I was wondering how much anyone else is making on referral ads. Another thing that doesn’t seem to be paying is their new video units, although this has just started, so I’ll have to wait and see. I think one problem with the video units is that the same videos are being displayed—they don’t seem to change often, and I selected the largest video unit with multiple choices. The problem I see with this project is that the choices aren’t changing fast enough.

  15. I have done fairly well on Google referrals, although they do not work as good as other affiliate programs.

    I have found (ironically) that text ads seem to work the best for Google referrals, instead of the button ads. Go figure.

  16. Imran Hashmi says:

    I am doing good with referrals.

    Google products are not that high value referrals but I have noticed some referrals got me 13$ per conversion and that were form non-Google products.

  17. drraman007 says:

    i got conversion the next day i put referral ads on my blog……it was for wiki solutions and i got $23.48 for that…..then i put more referral ads on my blog in hope that i’ll get more conversions…..but since then though i’ve got 56 clicks on referrals and no conversion till now.

  18. Ryan Poon says:

    Text adds on google work the best.I have had success with these. Just needs some fine tweeking.