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Google Referral Program

Posted By Darren Rowse 4th of November 2005 Adsense, Affiliate Programs 21

It looks like Google are starting a referral program for AdWords. Check it out at the Join the Google Referral Program page:

‘The Google AdWords referral program (beta) is for web sites whose customers and visitors include small to medium-sized businesses, and who want to help those companies become more successful by running Google AdWords. The program works by giving approved sites unique links to Google, then compensating the referring site for passing on a new AdWords advertiser.

Joining is easy, and free

1. Apply.

2. Once you’re approved, place a Google AdWords referral program link on your site.

3. Earn $20 for each advertiser you refer.’

You can learn more about it here and apply here. It’s by invitation only at the moment but you can apply and be notified when they expand the program.

What’s it all mean? It seems Adsense are on a recruiting drive for new Advertisers and they’re willing to pay for them – the competition must be heating up.

Thanks to Mark for the notification of this.

Update – looks like Google are getting ready to roll all this out soon – as they’ve updated their policy page to accomodate it as Jen has just posted.

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.
  1. They are just too precious for words.

    I have an Adwords account. I have an Adsense account. I have a Gmail account, and a Google home page account.. wouldn’t you think they might want to get the information they need from one of those – and especially from Adsense? Oh, noooo, fill out another form and no doubt get a brand new account.. brilliant :-)

  2. Sounds like a useful referral program to get into – say you can get 2 a week that’s around $2000 a year – not bad for an additional income stream.

  3. Looks google start some kind of affiliate program… Interesting. Bring us advertisers and you’ll get a commission.

    I ve tried some affiliate programs and results are often really bad.

    I d expect 1 conversion out of 50 000 page view = > 1% CTR on your website and 0,5% conversion rate; I even thinks it’s optimistic.

    20 $ for one conversion is not bad at all !

  4. I’m not particularly interested in participating in the program itself, but the way I look at it is: more exposure of AdWords = more advertisers = more AdSense ads = more revenue. Publishers should win from this whether they get into the program or not.

  5. It’s not new. Yourself already posted a news item about it a few months ago. Hopefully it will become more open now.

  6. Google has long had an “Invite a Friend” link at the top of the AdSense console. This is the obvious evolution of that.

  7. That referral problem has been around for quite a while, I have belonged to it since earlier this year – it is by invitation only though.

  8. They should start an AdSense referral program too.
    The more sites playing on both sides of the coin the more Google makes.

  9. This program is not new Darren. I had blogged about Google referral program in June 2005, so what Jen is referring to seems to be something new, or maybe they are integrating these services now. I am still to recieve an invitation even after so many months of applying for it.

  10. Now the site is saying ” To learn about the Google AdSense Referral Program –” which redirects to

  11. […] Darren is pointing to the AdWords referral program today. This is a program that has been around for quite a while now – the earliest reference I could find to it was back in February. It’s an invitation only program that pays you $20.00 when a new AdWords customer signs up using a link from your website. […]

  12. I just logged into my Adsense – there’s a new tab for Referrals.

    But why on earth do I need to run this separately? Why don’t they just mix it in to Adsense with the *option* to run it separately?

  13. It’s a Google Circle. People referring publishers who will refer the advertisers :)

  14. Good news! Google Adsense Referral Program is now launched.

  15. Hi Darren,

    Thanks for the info. I’ve been subscribing to your RSS feeds for awhile, but this is my first comment on your blog.

    About the Adwords affiliate program, I don’t think Google values their affiliates highly. Here’s an example of that from their FAQ no. 21:

    “…If you click through to the AdWords application page through the link on your website and spend $20 on AdWords ads, you’ll qualify as a completed referral and you’ll receive the $20 bounty.”

    Now, if people aware of this fact, they might think that it will be better for them to join the affiliate program first, and then joining Adwords from their own affiliate link, rather then joining from other people’s affiliate link, because they will get a $20 rebate.

    A good merchant who values their affiliates highly will usually try to protect their affiliates from customers who try to get “discount” by joining the affiliate program only to purchase from their own links.

    Because if everybody is doing this stuff, then affiliates will have tons of difficulty in promoting and earning commission from the products.

    I think that’s all my comment. Thanks.


  16. I just implemented the ads on my site. Maybe I’m not seeing something that the rest of you are, but the referrals seem to earn more than what everybody has stated, so far, according to this page (which should be public).

  17. I’ve just copied and pasted codes on my site. I’ve also been reading the information about Adsense referral program; and I don’t see the $20 dollars everyones talking about . What i’ve read is we will earn $100 dollars when each of our refferals earn their fisrt $100 from the Adsense Program. I think this is a One- time only Commission Program–No residual Payments. It’s a start— could be better.

  18. The Google Adsense Referral Scheme and the Google Adwords Referral Scheme are two seperate things. The $20 payout is for Adwords, the $100 is for Adsense. Most of the responses here seem to be getting mixed up!

  19. I recently installed the referrals button on a couple of pages but they don’t show up. Google Ads and the Search box work ok. Google can find no fault in my script, except to suggest there is a problem in my HTML. Any comment or help offered please?

  20. Just noticed a new blog that promises to offer all kinds of insider info about Google AdWords, AdSense, and more. Check it out:

  21. broken links, and the referral program is now retired is it not? Can you supply a link to any new way you can make cash from adsense/adwords referrals?


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