Google Referrals 2.0

Are you tired of throwing those same old tired AdSense “contextually relevant” ads at your readers? I know I am, and from the looks of my ad revenue, my readers are tired of seeing them.

There is an alternative.

Google has released a new catalog of referral opportunities spanning a full range of interests. We now have the opportunity to choose ads we would like to display and offer our readers.

Other than your ability to pick and choose the ads you run on your blog, there are three big differences between referral ads and regular AdSense ads.

  1. You are allowed to endorse the product or service and encourage people to click the ads.
  2. You only make money on referrals if the reader takes the required action. (Usually signing up for something like a website membership or newsletter, or making a purchase.)
  3. Referrals almost always pay significantly more than standard Pay Per Click ads.

The most difficult part about putting the referral ads on your site is choosing which ads to run because the selection is so large. To get started just follow these simple directions.

  1. Log into to your Google AdSense dashboard. (Where you got your original ad code.)
  2. Click the AdSense Setup tab.
  3. Click “Referrals”
  4. Select a category from the menu.
  5. Browse the available referral opportunities and select the ones you would like to display.
  6. Choose the type (Banner, Button, Text, etc.) and format of ad you want.
  7. Copy the code to your site.

While choosing your ads and getting the code for them you have to make some critical decisions that can be confusing.

  1. If you leave the “Pick Best Performing Ads” box checked the ad you have chosen will seldom actually appear. This option basically allows Google to show the ads they feel perform best. (These are almost always ads I don’t want.)
  2. You have the opportunity to rotate ads in the same ad unit. To accomplish this just click “Choose More Products” and continue adding ads until you have all the ads you want displayed, then get your code as described above.

I have to tell you I have had some difficulties with the implementation of some of the referral ads on this blog. The biggest issue I have dealt with is getting only the ads I want showing in the ad block. I seem to have solved this issue but to be perfectly honest I’m exactly certain how I did it.

Another thing to keep in mind if you are picking and choosing specific ads for your site is companies only run their referral campaigns until they achieve their target numbers. The referral campaigns may be paused, changed or eliminated with no notice to you. This can leave you with no ads in the block or ads you don’t want being displayed instead.

To use the Google Referral ads on your site requires you to be more proactive than “context” ads and are probably best used as a compliment to the standard AdSense units but, if you are willing to put in the effort, you can present you readers more appealing ads that you have prescreened and none of the ridiculous “Get Rich Quick” ads AdSense seems to love.


Anonymous said...

I haven't tried using any referal systems for Google or anything like that but from what I have read it seems most people don't make too much money from them.

Ad Tracker said...

Shaun - I haven't had great monetary results from the referrals yet but they are still very new. Time'll tell.

Anonymous said...

This is a great post from the Adsense Tracker. Nice scoop! I don't actually run ads from the big G on my site, but the reason why is because I couldn't choose my own... maybe now I'll be more into it.

Ad Tracker said...

Chris - Thanks! Being able to choose is the big draw to me. That and being able to endorse them.

I can't begin to understand why they have rolled this out so quietly.

Anonymous said...

I've been showing referral ads on my blog for sometime now. While the CTR is okay, converting those clicks into cash isn't easy at all. Most people would click out of curiosity but won't really sign up with the service so I still haven't made any money out of it.

Ad Tracker said...

Dee - I haven't had any referral conversions either but I'm not ready to give up yet :)