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This 46 message thread spans 2 pages: 46 ( [1] 2 > >     
Loophole in AdSense PPA Allowing Advertisers to Not Pay Publishers?
Definition of "Completed Sale" Up for Discussion
farmboy




msg:3305382
 3:30 am on Apr 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

I wanted to get some referral ads for products on a few pages to see what happens.

I first picked a certain industrial product that seemed like a good fit for some of my pages. The product is offered by a tool company.

The problem is, the URL takes the user to the company's main page and the company offers thousands of tools and related products. If the visitor finds something and purchases it, and the something isn't what was advertised in the ad, the publisher just generated a sale for the advertiser without earning any compensation.

There's one ad I'll have to remember not to display.

Also, there doesn't seem to be any type of URL filter provided for the Referral ads. So if a publisher uses the suggested keywords and lets Google decide which ads to display, how does the publisher protect against showing ads that are likely not to convert for the publisher, such as the one I mentioned above?

FarmBoy

[edited by: farmboy at 3:45 am (utc) on April 8, 2007]

 

jomaxx




msg:3305399
 4:41 am on Apr 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Does the wording of the offer specifically say you only get a commission if that particular item is purchased?

Green_Grass




msg:3305400
 4:42 am on Apr 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have always suspected that many advertisers could drive lot of 'free' traffic to their websites using the loophole of a 'difficult' conversion. This is the reason, why I haven't as yet signed up as a publisher. Also, I think currently it is restricted to US traffic. Correct me if I am wrong.

farmboy




msg:3305412
 5:31 am on Apr 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Does the wording of the offer specifically say you only get a commission if that particular item is purchased?

That's a good question/point.

The company only has one ad and it advertises one specific green widget.

The offer simply says "Completed Sale" - $X.XX

It's not clear whether it's for a completed sale of a green widget or just for any completed sale.

However, if the advertiser really wanted to motivate sales of green widgets, I would think the destination URL would be the page where green widgets are shown.

And if the green widgets were on the destination page, I wouldn't have any problem with displaying the ad.

Green widgets aren't mentioned on the home page, even though there is a space on the page for current specials.

As it is, it's almost like one of the misleading MFA ads, except in this case, a person could actually find and purchase green widgets if he wanted to search for them once on the advertiser's site.

-----

Update/Edit: I just went to the site in question and searched for green widgets. Three pages of results came up. The first two pages were for accessories for green widgets. The last item on the third page was for a green widget.

And FWIW, based on the price of the green widget and the stated compensation amount, if a green widget was sold as a result of the click, the publisher would earn just slightly over 2%.

FarmBoy

[edited by: farmboy at 5:49 am (utc) on April 8, 2007]

farmboy




msg:3305414
 5:39 am on Apr 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have always suspected that many advertisers could drive lot of 'free' traffic to their websites using the loophole of a 'difficult' conversion.

They might get some, but I don't know if they will get a lot.

I think because of all the MFA ads and misleading ads we've seen on the contextual side, publishers are going to scrutinize ads carefully and watch their conversions.

And on top of that, Google may develop a quality score of some type for each ad.

Plus, if an advertiser tries to pull a fast one on a publisher in a Referral ad, the publisher can, and probably will, put that advertiser in the competitive ad filter and then the advertiser will lose opportunites to get traffic via PPC ads.

FarmBoy

Green_Grass




msg:3305516
 12:17 pm on Apr 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

"They might get some, but I don't know if they will get a lot. "

While I respect your point of view, I do believe that for every one smart publisher, there are ten dumb ones who cannot or will not track data so carefully. This is especially true with multiple referral ads in each block.

MFA's exist and thrive becuase of imperfections in the adSense system and lack of information with webmasters. This is unlikely to change. IMHO, it is too early to jump on the referal bandawagon. Anyways, G has restricted it to only US publishers currently.

trinorthlighting




msg:3305593
 2:53 pm on Apr 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Farmboy,

You will more than likely get a comission whenever someone makes a sale from the site, not from the page they targeted. The tracking code is more than likely in the check out portion of the site.

Basically, your site sends me to page a, then I go to page b, then c, add the item to my cart and check out. When I check out I hit the conversion code, google charges me and you make money.

joelgreen




msg:3305814
 9:40 pm on Apr 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

You will more than likely get a comission whenever someone makes a sale from the site

I wonder how this could be done. Lets say I'm awarder $1.00 for conversion. Do you think it would not matter if visitor bought item for $2.00 or item for $100? There should be some "link" to the item being advertised, or at least some minimum amount set.

europeforvisitors




msg:3305863
 10:51 pm on Apr 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

There should be some "link" to the item being advertised, or at least some minimum amount set.

Not necessarily. "Pay per lead" ads with fixed referral fees have been around for decades, and some major affiliate programs pay fixed rates per sale, booking, etc.

Come to think of it, PPC ads fit that "pay per lead" model: If the advertiser pays 50 cents for a click and makes $500 on the sale, you don't get any more than you would have if the advertiser had made a nickel or nothing.

trinorthlighting




msg:3305935
 1:34 am on Apr 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

There is no place in the pay per action to set an amount for an individual item right now. This will probally change when its out of the beta

potentialgeek




msg:3306206
 12:44 pm on Apr 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Amazon gives commissions on sales leads other than the target of a specific link. Google should do no less.

Over on the AdWords board, they're saying not many publishers are trying the new Google scheme.

Wonder why.

p/g

europeforvisitors




msg:3306223
 1:01 pm on Apr 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Over on the AdWords board, they're saying not many publishers are trying the new Google scheme.

Wonder why.

Several possible reasons:

1) AdSense CPA ads are in beta, and most publishers aren't even aware of the beta's existence.

2) Participation in the AdSense CPA scheme requires initial effort and subsequent tweaking by the publisher.

3) There isn't yet a critical mass of CPA advertisers.

4) The publishers who are likely to do well with CPA ads may already be participating in (and profiting from) other affiliate programs.

Erku




msg:3306239
 1:20 pm on Apr 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have always said,

GOOGLE needs to hold advertisers accountable and "smart priced" for their LANDING PAGES.

There are very poor landing pages out there, that would make no sale, and who gets free traffic and who gets "smart prices"

I suggest you write to Google team and share your feedback. That will only enhance Adsense and Adword program.

Adverisers need to know that if they don't put care and some knowledge to build a good landing page, they will be held accountable financially.

We publishers, put care and build good sites, advertisers should put care and build good and well-thought landing pages so we all succeed?

Any comments on this?

fearlessrick




msg:3306269
 1:42 pm on Apr 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Over on the AdWords board, they're saying not many publishers are trying the new Google scheme.

Wonder why

5. After watching their AdSense earnings stagnate (at best) or plummet, publishers have concluded that working with Google seems to offer the most advantages not to publishers, but to Google.

farmboy




msg:3306281
 1:50 pm on Apr 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

GOOGLE needs to hold advertisers accountable and "smart priced" for their LANDING PAGES.

This situation I described in the OP is either a poor landing page decision by the merchant or some attempt by the merchant to "take advantage of" publishers. I don't know which and if there is another possibility, I don't know what it is.

It's tempting to email the merchant and suggest clicks on an ad for green widgets should land on a page where green widgets are sold, on the possibility the merchant is just ignorant.

But I guess Google doesn't want such contacts between publishers and merchants. Maybe they should consider some method of forwarding suggestions from publishers to merchants.

FarmBoy

Content_ed




msg:3306330
 2:26 pm on Apr 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Has anybody gotten paid by any of the new PPA ads yet? We loaded them up on Friday, seeing miniscule clicks and no money yet. Of course, the ad selection isn't that broad so the matches aren't great and they are on pages that did poorly with contextual. On the bright side, the don't even report impressions, so it's no taken into the eCPM calculation.

farmboy




msg:3306343
 2:43 pm on Apr 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Has anybody gotten paid by any of the new PPA ads yet?

I'm getting clicks but no conversions with three different products I'm promoting.

For these products, I'm thinking having a very specific ad that leads to a generalized page is what leads to low conversions.

Merchants need to work on those landing pages.

celgins




msg:3306371
 3:04 pm on Apr 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

1) AdSense CPA ads are in beta, and most publishers aren't even aware of the beta's existence.

Plus, most publishers are already skeptical and probably won't touch it for some time.

2) Participation in the AdSense CPA scheme requires initial effort and subsequent tweaking by the publisher.

It sure does. First, the screen navigation isn't very nice. Second, when you choose banner ads for many advertisers, only text-based ads show on the site. Finally, Google allows publishers to assign channels to CPA ads, but it's difficult to determine if CTR and impressions are separate, or rolled into overall CTR/impressions.

3) There isn't yet a critical mass of CPA advertisers.

Very true. Some categories (especially those generated by keyword searches) have only one or two advertisers in them.

4) The publishers who are likely to do well with CPA ads may already be participating in (and profiting from) other affiliate programs.

Participating in dozens of others. By the way, there is very likely a tracking system setup where referral fees/leads are being calculated no matter how the URL looks in your browser.

jimbeetle




msg:3306396
 3:24 pm on Apr 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

You will more than likely get a comission whenever someone makes a sale from the site, not from the page they targeted.

No affiliate marketer survives for long on the words "more than likely." ;-) What constitutes a payable action must be spelled out.

This situation I described in the OP is either a poor landing page decision by the merchant or some attempt by the merchant to "take advantage of" publishers. I don't know which and if there is another possibility, I don't know what it is.

Google's decision to allow a merchant to direct traffic to a page that doesn't mention the product just doesn't make any sense. With G's recent quality score initiative on the original AdWords side, I can't see why it isn't an integral part of the PPA program where publishers need much more protection.

After AdWords PPA advertisers read this thread I can just hear the stampede as they run over to set up campaigns to take advantage of this gaping loophole.

farmboy, unless you're really, really taken with that link I suggest you take it down. Whether you get paid for the sale of any items besides green widgets or not, your site visitor is expecting to see sales information about green widgets; I doubt if this link will ever perform. As a performance marketer you should never send uncompensated traffic to a non-product specific page.

garyr_h




msg:3306497
 4:33 pm on Apr 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I received some nice money from the CPA. However, only one specific product worked, which involved a completed sale of a certain eBook. I made about twice as much as I normally do in a day, then the very next day the advertiser seized to exist. He doesn't offer the product within the PPA anymore... I'm not sure why he would do that if he was making money from it. Wouldn't he want to try it out for a longer time if it was working?

Anyway, so now even if one of the visitors buy something from him a few days from now, I doubt I will get paid for it since he doesn't show up anywhere. A VERY bad deal for publishers. I didn't receive a warning or anything, he just disappeared and his ad quit showing. I am very disappointed.

farmboy




msg:3306510
 4:44 pm on Apr 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

farmboy, unless you're really, really taken with that link I suggest you take it down.

Already have.

And I've found others with similar characteristics that I won't promote.

FarmBoy

farmboy




msg:3306514
 4:47 pm on Apr 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

However, only one specific product worked, which involved a completed sale of a certain eBook. I made about twice as much as I normally do in a day, then the very next day the advertiser seized to exist. He doesn't offer the product within the PPA anymore... I'm not sure why he would do that if he was making money from it. Wouldn't he want to try it out for a longer time if it was working?

What method of payment did the merchant use for selling the ebook? Depending on the payment method, the merchant can get himself into a cash flow problem even though he's making money in the long run.

FarmBoy

Webwork




msg:3306549
 5:07 pm on Apr 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Free traffic by strategically weak PPA conversion models?

I think I hear locusts in the distance.

trinorthlighting




msg:3306557
 5:14 pm on Apr 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

The ebook person might have been experimenting.

Farmboy, keep in mind that most ecommerce sites have less than a 10% conversion rate. Most people like to shop around.

You have to keep in mind that some times people take a week or two to actually make a purchase. With Pay Per Click if a person came back within 30 days and makes a purchase, you still get paid.

In my industry it typically takes two weeks for a person to make a sale. They pay off to the publishers is great though for one sale. More than you would make from our pay per click advertising in a month.

I suggest you keep experimenting with it, leave it up for a few more weeks and see how you do. Remember, not a lot of advertisers have signed up yet.

jimbeetle




msg:3306564
 5:24 pm on Apr 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I agree that publishers should keep experimenting with the program, though from farmboy's experience and the few things I've looked at, we're going to have to be very, very leery of the quality that Google is letting through the door.

maximillianos




msg:3306586
 5:53 pm on Apr 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I was recently accepted into the program.... But I have yet to run any campaigns. I found the interface a bit clumsy as I constantly needed to double scroll....(scroll the main window just so I could scroll the iframe!) Annoying.

Beyond that, I am hesitant to jump on board after seeing what little control we as publishers do have. In the standard ppa world, WE build great landing pages that directly link to product pages that are also tweaked for conversion. In G's setup, it appears advertisers are taking advantage of the situation and being lazy. By just directing clicks to a homepage they are essentially just stealing traffic. I would NEVER setup an affiliate link from a highly custom landing page on my site to the advertisers homepage. It is not worth the effort.

So what I've come to realize is this new ppa service they are offering is not a replacement for standard affilaite marketing links.... Those are a differnet beast. This new ads are just a slight variation of the cpc ads, and probably should only be used in the cases where the cpc ads are failing to generate any income.

It is an alternative that will probably help out a small subset of existing publishers who have good targeted traffic but for reason can't earn well straight from clicks.
Unless the pcp model goes away, I don't see myself using the ppa model anytime soon....

Jane_Doe




msg:3306612
 6:13 pm on Apr 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

With Pay Per Click if a person came back within 30 days and makes a purchase, you still get paid.

I've tended to favor PPC and PPL because of losing money on reversed commissions and sales after the return period. I don't like it when people come back to my site after a month or two, place a huge order and I don't get paid because it is technically past the return period. Or then there are always the returned sales that you just have to take the merchants word for and have no way of really verifying. I drop any merchant right away with a high rate of reversed commissions.

trinorthlighting




msg:3306664
 6:54 pm on Apr 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Speaking from an adwords position, I honestly do not trust a lot of the content network because of the MFA's and click fraud. So we never placed a lot of money into it. I think as pay per action rolls out, you will see a huge decline in the pay per click advertising. Face it, if we are selling a product, we want conversions, not page views.

Speaking from a publisher standpoint, they pay out can be great but you will have to pick and choose what to advertise to really make money. If your site is about "how widgets work" then your ads need to be about widgets and not about swimming pools. You have to look at your audience that comes to your site. Are they people who are going to click through and buy items, or are they a bunch of teenagers without credit cards.

Each site will be unique, while this is in its beta you should defiately experiment. You might strike gold, you might strike out.

mzanzig




msg:3306700
 7:19 pm on Apr 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have not looked too much into this new scheme, but I wonder how the "completed sale" is being determined (technically)? Is it something that only can happen on Google's end, e.g. through Checkout? Or is it the advertisers' server sending some kind of "completed sale" message to Google? How is the program protected against manipulations by advertisers?

TrustNo1




msg:3306711
 7:25 pm on Apr 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

"Over on the AdWords board, they're saying not many publishers are trying the new Google scheme."

Because it's not new, just somebody else new doing it. No shortage of per per action stuff out there. Many traditional affiliate networks, CPA networks, indy/inhouse programs merchants etc.

This 46 message thread spans 2 pages: 46 ( [1] 2 > >
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