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AdSense Retire their Referrals Program and Launch the Google Affiliate Network

logo.gifToday AdSense announced that they are drawing their ‘Referrals’ program to a close and are relaunching a new Google affiliate network. In actual effect the new affiliate network is not ‘new’ – but a rebranded version of DoubleClick’s Performics Affiliate Network which they acquired in March.

This is news that many of us expected – particularly since Google bought DoubleClick earlier in the year. It’s also not surprising as most publishers that I know have had very little success with the Referrals program within AdSense. In fact I’m one of the only people that I know who made much from it – and that almost dried up when they changed the referrals program for AdSense.

If You Promote AdSense Referrals Products…

If you’re a blogger promoting some kind of AdSense Referrals product it’s time to remove the ad and replace it with something else. You can still run the ads but they’ll stop working in the last week of August.

It is not clear whether the referrals that you’ve made that have not converted will also become void in the last week of August also. This is something I’d like to see AdSense clarify as some of their programs have quite long lead times for those that you refer to ‘convert’ and therefore to earn you money.

Google Affiliate Network

The new Google Affiliate Network does not something that everyone will be able to use. They say that they are targeting sites with largely US based traffic – I’m yet to see any clarification on how they’ll be filtering publishers, whether there is a traffic based minimum to get in etc. Time will tell as publishers start applying. At present I know that Performics has accepted me as a publisher (I was previously using it) so it’s not too hard to get into I hope!

No More Google Affiliate Products

Those of you promoting ‘Google Products’ through the current ‘Referrals’ system should know that there are no plans at this point to have these products available to promote through the new affiliate network. They may come later but my sources at Google say that these programs are coming to an end and there will be no immediate way to make money by sending them new AdSense publishers, AdWords advertisers etc.

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. Louis Liem says:

    Thanks for the news, Darren! Let’s hope GAN can work better for everyone

  2. felix says:

    The Google affiliate network is just DoubleClick – another company Google purchased recently.

  3. SATISH says:

    If a user completes the advertiser’s required action (Adsense Refferal program) within 30 days of clicking on your ad, earnings will accrue to your account through the end of September. After that time, you will no longer be able to earn money from referral ads. Your payments won’t be affected; you’ll continue to be paid once you’ve reached the payment threshold.

    This morning I also wrote about this, in my blog http://technotip.org
    And there are more clarified things included.

    Everyone please visit http://technotip.org/monetize/welcome-google-affiliate-network/

  4. Mickey says:

    Wow, this stinks. I make $xxxx a month promoting the Google Pack on one of my sites. That’s not good news…

  5. Jose says:

    It sounds like some of the top affiliate networks like Valueclick/CJ need to begin to step their game up. With Google entering the affiliate marketing scene, it will be hard to compete with them (since they have a infinite amount of resources and connections). Advertisers will probably flock to Google, so it will be interesting to see how this pans out.

  6. How to DIY says:

    I just received this email from google stating that the referrals program was being retired. I have to say that I’m not in the least bit heart broken since I’ve not had one conversion from the program and have taken it off my site altogether.

    One thing to note that they are advising you to print off or save your referral reports to your computer so you can still access them after the retirement at the end of August. I’m not sure if this means you will no longer be able to log in and get your reports after this day or not.

  7. That’s great news. The referrals Program doesn’t work that good anyway.

  8. Robin says:

    I just got my email too – the problem for me is that I can’t run the contextual ads because I commonly use a word that I do NOT want picked up for the ads.

    I wonder if Google will start letting us filter out specific words at any point – you can only filter out sites at present.

  9. Rohit says:

    That’s great news!.

    Their performance has been bad since their launch and Adsense team has done the right thing!.

    The launch of Google Affiliate Network has been equally exciting….

    You might be interested to read my post:Google Adsense says “Time to go, Referrals” !!

  10. Nathalie says:

    I know the services has done good to other bloggers. But for me I’ve never had much success with AdSense referrals. So I will not miss these referrals… Thanks Darren for the news.

  11. B. Durant says:

    Can’t say I’m to tore up to see it going. My referral stats have been pretty dismal when it comes to Adsense.

    Be interesting to see what they replace it with.

  12. not_a_blogger_yet says:

    All previous experiences I had with referrals were bad, so It’s kinda good news.

    However, I remember seeing a “tech” site, promoting Firefox + G toolbar in an awesome way, and declaring himself (the owner) that he’s making a lot of money from that.

    The question is, will we (nobody in special) be able to promote Adsense, Firefox + G toolbar, etc?

    I’m asking because Google didn’t make it very clear for me on their page.

  13. Karen Zara says:

    I’ve never tried the AdSense Referrals program because I’d heard about the poor results gotten by most webmasters.

    The fact that the Google Affiliate Network will target sites that mainly reach an US-based audience doesn’t surprise me at all… although it’s a bit frustrating. They must have their (good) reasons for that, of course. But I wonder how long it will take people to realise that there’s money to be made in other countries as well?

  14. Jan Alvin says:

    What would happen now to our income??

  15. Josh says:

    Oh wow thanks for this update Darren. I myself run some refferals on my proxy sites and I tend to a decent number of conversions, so it’s a shame they’re taking away the chance to promote Google products. :(

  16. SATISH says:

    If a user completes the advertiser’s required action (Adsense Refferal program) within 30 days of clicking on your ad, earnings will accrue to your account through the end of September. After that time, you will no longer be able to earn money from referral ads. Your payments won’t be affected; you’ll continue to be paid once you’ve reached the payment threshold.

    This morning I wrote about this, in my blog http://technotip.org
    And there are more clarified things included.

    Everyone please visit http://technotip.org/monetize/welcome-google-affiliate-network/

  17. Chester Chen says:

    I got the email from them too. Was about to blog about it, but decided to come here first..

    Like you said Darren, it’s quite hard to make money from the AdSense referral program.

    Let’s hope that they’ll pay better with their new Google Affiliate Network. Or else, it’s gonna be another history.

  18. bugsy says:

    Any rumors on when the adsense for feedburner will be released to the general public?

  19. Kishore says:

    Do we need to sign up for a new account or can we use the same account to access the Google Ad network

  20. Steve Mills says:

    Thanks for the news Darren, will be interesting to see if anyone can make any money from this system.

  21. Revenue says:

    I think only if you have Us traffic you can made some profit ..Anyway google try to catch the world

  22. JK Swopes says:

    I haven’t used Adsense referrals much, but I am interested to see how they (Google) handle an affiliate network. It could be a nice addition to the affiliate marketing world.

  23. MR says:

    Google referrals were weak anyway.

  24. Rebecca says:

    Adsense is the only revenue I have been getting on my site and that has been slowing increasing since finding twitter.

    DoubleClick turned my site down months ago and is the only affiliate program that ever did.

    Can someone give me a clue why?

  25. Rebecca says:

    Adsense is the only revenue I have been getting on my site and that has been slowing increasing since finding twitter.

    DoubleClick turned my site down months ago and is the only affiliate program that ever did.

    Can someone give me a clue why? Is it because I am a “mixed bag”?

  26. It will come to end..
    Google will stop to give us money..
    A matters of time..

  27. Elizabeth says:

    For google it’s probably better for Google as a company to no longer run a program that’s not working well for most of their users anyway. If it’s better for us it means more $$ for Google.

  28. Greenleaf says:

    Hi,
    I think that it will be very hard for us to make money from the Google Affiliate Network because more targeted traffic is needed.

  29. I to got this news today. Since Google has acquired the DoubleClick’s Performics Affiliate Network, lets hope a better solution for us as a publisher.

  30. Syed Balkhi says:

    I just hope that they let the referrals that haven’t converted yet go on until they convert otherwise I will in be in a lost, I think….

    I think they shouldn’t remove the google products because I made a good sum from the google pack.

  31. Mr MultiVar says:

    I got this news direct from Google.

  32. They used us to build empire and now they can enjoy!

  33. Pinton says:

    thanks..i think google will not cheat will its affiliate..as some affiliate network do..hiding actual commision.
    i will use this in my blog http://freeoffernews.com

  34. Brad says:

    I was surprised that I never made anything from the referral program. Very rarely any clicks, let alone conversions. I thought maybe it was due to the fact that everyone and his brother had the Google products available on their pages. Well, that and maybe the fact that my traffic sucks, but that’s another issue.

  35. Rahul Bansal says:

    AS per Adsense official help page

    Starting the last week of August, we’ll no longer be serving referral ads on your website, and no further clicks will be recorded. If a user completes the advertiser’s required action within 30 days of clicking on your ad, earnings will accrue to your account through the end of September. After that time, you will no longer be able to earn money from referral ads. Your payments won’t be affected; you’ll continue to be paid once you’ve reached the payment threshold.

  36. ChinaMatt says:

    I got an email about this from Google. My problem is that I still haven’t entered my PIN (forget where I put it) and I haven’t done the phone verification (which is difficult because I live in China, but my mailing address is in the US). Might have to get my parents to help out with this one.

  37. yakacha says:

    I have just started blogging and making some money with adsense. But now i haven’t figured what to do next.
    http://tips-tricks-for-new-bloggers.blogspot.com

  38. Reginald says:

    I am still unsure as the effect or impacts of this bottom line to the blogger or webmaster that has Google ads on their site.

    Does this decision affect Google ads? What will happen after the end of August? Has this question not been addressed yet?

  39. Aaron says:

    hahaha…indeed i never use this sort of ad.. lol

  40. mymoneyblog says:

    Just as i am starting to get into this whole adsense/referals thing they go take away one of the tools i was about to use :/
    Any mention for us UK guys entering the scheme at all?

  41. Slevi says:

    With the referral ads hardly being effective it was just a matter of time before they got ditched. They affiliate network sounds interesting, let’s see how it works out for them.

  42. Lynn says:

    You mentioned wondering if there was a minimum level of traffic etc to get in to the program. I can’t say what’s with the new Google, but I’ve been a publisher with Performics for years now, and have never made anything with them. I’ve sporadically promoted them. I have minimal traffic and I haven’t been kicked out yet. We’ll see how it goes now that Google has taken over! Same for Adsense though. I don’t actively pursue it either at the moment–have only ran two or three blocks on a single less-than-ten page site for the two years I’ve been signed up. They haven’t kicked me out either. :-)

  43. AKat says:

    How exactly does this affect adsense earnings on a current website? can someone please elaborate?

  44. Mr MultiVar says:

    Hi AKat,

    this will have zero impact on your Adsense earnings since it is only about the referral program to Adsense that paid you $100 when somebody that you referred to the program made $100 in Adsense revenue.

    The referral program allowed you to host a special button on your website with words on it like “this site monetized by Adsense with a tick”.

    So most people don’t have any worries with this change of policy since they were lucky to get even 1 $100 payout with this system.

  45. Lisa Irby says:

    I was upset to hear this. I was making about $1200/month in AdSense referrals alone so this was a disappointment to say the least.

  46. @Lisa Irby: wow, thay seem to be closing Adsense referrals in August. Now I want to check your blog.

    Tips for new bloggers

  47. ITrush says:

    thanks for the info.

  48. Reginald says:

    I always get the impression in threads like these that Adsense works wonders for the small majority among us.

    I would like to know who caters to the starving majority.

  49. i dont think so it will effect my adsense earning any how?

  50. As long as they replace it with another program, I don’t mind one bit.