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Is It Allowed To Pay For Google Referrals?
me134




msg:1449492
 11:05 pm on Dec 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Is is allowed by the Google TOS to pay a person to sign up for Adsense under you, and then pay them, say $50 out of the $100 that you get once they reach $100 in earnings?

I see a site doing this currently, I will share it if it is allowed on this forum.

 

ann




msg:1449493
 3:59 am on Dec 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Sounds like a ban waiting to happen.

Please sticky me the url....it sounds fascinating.

elsewhen




msg:1449494
 4:08 am on Dec 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

even if this was allowed (doubtful), it seems that there would be a tracking issue. say you get 3 signups every day... how do you know who to pay after you start making some revenue?

humblebeginnings




msg:1449495
 4:18 am on Dec 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

It is very much not allowed! Please read TOS and if possible sticky me the guy who is doing this.
G considers a referral button the same thing as an ad.
And you are not allowed to encourage people in any way to click your ads. G will very surely consider paying them 50 bucks an encouragement!

me134




msg:1449496
 4:29 am on Dec 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

I read (tried to at least) the TOS and didn't see anything specific to monetary enticements for the referral program, but your logic seems corect. It did seem odd. I was going to sign up but maybe not now.

I am not sure about the tracking issue. Am I allowed to share the website? I don't want to break any rules. I have sticky mailed you Ann and HumbleBeginnings the URL.

ann




msg:1449497
 7:39 am on Dec 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thank you,

I have reported them. If you want to be a publisher then be one own your own, safer that way :)

Just went back to the site. It must be run by teenagers as there is a "saving 8th grader" talking it up....disgusting.

humblebeginnings




msg:1449498
 2:07 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi Me134,

Thanks for the sticky.
Same as Ann, I believe this is disgusting.
These dudes even dare to say:
"This is going to work on the honesty system".
At the same time they are robbing Google and endangering the referral system.
As I believe Google has no specifics about the use of the referral button in their TOS. And there is no need for that cause they clearly state that a referral button should be considered an ad. So the same rules apply. I have reported them too and I hope Google does something about it very soon, cause otherwise this will ruin the referral system.
ASA, could you please help us with this?
It can not possibly be allowed to offer folks money for using the referral button, or can it?

H.

jetteroheller




msg:1449499
 8:05 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Is is allowed by the Google TOS to pay a person to sign up for Adsense under you

I find the opposit better.

The person signs a nice license agreement for my CMS and all my advice and know how, just 20% of the ad revenues.

martinibuster




msg:1449500
 11:43 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Maybe I haven't thought this through or I'm missing something. Can someone enlighten me on this?

Does Google get hurt by this, can someone explain how?

Imo, the answer is no. Google comes ahead if someone signs up with adsense and when that new person reaches an honest $100, Google is making money from a new advertiser with a profitable website.

If an adsense program promoter spends his bounty on $100 worth of candy corn or a $50 fee to the new advertiser, who is getting hurt in either scenario?

I'm not saying it's approved by Google. But I'm not saying it looks illegal either. I am just asking WHY people find this practice to be bad?

[edited by: martinibuster at 12:30 am (utc) on Dec. 20, 2005]

wbauchus




msg:1449501
 2:43 am on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Sounds like incentivized marketing to me, which isn't illegal. Depending on the people offering the incentive it can be a good promotional tool that drives traffic.

I'm admittedly biased, but as long as the website is paying people the $50 I don't understand why everyone's getting so upset. They're choosing to spend the $50 directly with the people signing up rather than on buying banners, placing ads or whatever.

martinibuster




msg:1449502
 3:51 am on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

At the same time they are robbing Google

Google gains a publisher who earns an honest $100 in clicks.

Google then pays $100 to the referrer, as per the agreement.

Where is the robbery?

Google could ultimately come out and declare this is not something to be done. But, I'm only saying that I don't understand why people think this is something to report, or why they feel disgusted by it.

To me it looks like a clever way of marketing to potential AdSense publishers. That's about it.

Added
Ok, here is the part in the program policies that might be relevant:

Publishers are also not permitted to use deceptive or unnatural means to draw attention to or incite clicks on referral buttons.

What do you think?

[edited by: martinibuster at 5:07 am (utc) on Dec. 20, 2005]

me134




msg:1449503
 3:53 am on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

It may not be illegal, but it may be against the terms of the contract with Google. That is why I ask in this thread, for the experts. Example, Amazon.com does not allow anyone to give back part of the affiliate money, like at Upromise.com or similar. But some companies do allow such thing.

I could not see if it is illegal in Google TOS. Since you are a moderator martinibuster, am I assuming that you do not recall anything illegal? I know you cannot represent Google, I am only asking your thoughts.

carfo




msg:1449504
 3:57 am on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Slightly off-topic, but I feel it useful to stick in here, what happens if A and B collude to get the $100 incentive from Google by signing up a publisher whose sole function it is to reap the $100 bounty from the publisher beneath him... I hope this makes sense as you read it, I'm finding it difficult to make it make sense as I type it!

humblebeginnings




msg:1449505
 8:18 am on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Where is the robbery?"

"Publishers are also not permitted to use deceptive or unnatural means to draw attention to or incite clicks on referral buttons."

Martini, you give the answer yourself!

These folks are making money from the Adsense system in a way that is not allowed. (At least, that is what I make of the TOS). And therefore they are robbing Google. They also rob us. Because they are diverting referrals from us. Why would someone sign up with me if they can get $ 50,- somewhere else? It has taken me loads of time and work to get a few referrals in a way that is allowed by the TOS.

"To me it looks like a clever way of marketing to potential AdSense publishers."

To me it's not even clever. I guess most of us have thought about it but rejected it right away because it is so obviously against TOS.

But I would be delighted and I would gladly take back these words if ASA would declare this method to be perfectly OK. As of that moment I would offer folks
$ 75,- to sign up!

ASA, pleaaaaaaaase!

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