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Google Referrals 2.0
PPA improved?
farmboy




msg:3379829
 3:00 am on Jun 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing a message congratulating me on being accepted into Referrals 2.0? Does this mean PPA is out of beta?

I see they are now ranking PPA ads based on performance, even if it's only stars.

The improvements are nice, but PPA is still not there yet in my opinion. I think Google still has a bit of work to do and the advertisers have a lot of work to do.

FarmBoy

 

The Contractor




msg:3415719
 12:20 pm on Aug 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

Referral banners not showing up here. Anyone else?

Ok, so this is the 3rd time I've tried Referrals and again, they show off-the-wall ads and not what I have chosen. AdSense contextual ads are dead-on. Does this tell me the advertisers budget has been exhausted or is there another reason?
I am now going to hold off once again until this program makes some real improvements. I think for the most part the referrals program is nothing more than a branding avenue for the advertisers. Google needs to crack down on the advertisers in writing good ad copy and accept only those that have realistic spending budgets and are willing to payout a realistic amount for conversions. For instance if I can join a network or program directly from the Advertiser and get paid 10x the amount, why would I want to use Google Referrals from the same company and get 1/10 of the amount (I can't imagine Google is keeping that kind of cut)? This is not Googles fault, except they need to scrutinize the advertisers and the ad copy more closely. Until they do I am holding off.

[edited by: The_Contractor at 12:23 pm (utc) on Aug. 7, 2007]

drall




msg:3415806
 1:57 pm on Aug 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

We are waiting for them to work the bugs out.

koan




msg:3416269
 12:26 am on Aug 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

I am trying the new referrals right now and a few things that come to mind:

1- big problems with advertisers dumping their programs on unrelated keywords / categories

2- when we find a program through a keyword search, it would be nice if we knew in which category it currently belong, so we can check out similar programs.

3- some programs don't make a link to their landing pages, we have to find out ourselves by retyping the domain name shown in a sample ad. Annoying. It should be required.

4- although I made sure there would be only my selected program ads to be displayed in rotation, I am seeing unselected programs creeping in the google referral ads on my sites still.

5- interface is a bit clunky and slow, especially when you have to constantly click on the "return to search more products" link when browsing around.

Keep working at it!

timchuma




msg:3416290
 1:02 am on Aug 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

I will try it out on one of my sites as I am only doing so-so with clicks at the moment. Is there any danger it would violate the TOS if you already had another referral program running from those pages though?

Thanks.

koan




msg:3416454
 5:01 am on Aug 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

timchuma, that's what motivated me to try referrals too (again, actually, I tried and quit a few weeks ago), some of my sites have been seriously crushed in the past week or two with adsense to one of the lowest revenues I've seen. I also want to diversify the ads a bit to other topics.

netmeg




msg:3416883
 2:58 pm on Aug 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

I *so* want this to work. But I just can't seem to make it attractive to my users.

There's one offer that is absolutely perfect for one of my sites, it's spot-on the target they are looking for, and I believe I could generate plenty of conversions for them.

However, they have the landing page set to their "about" page, instead of the sign up page or the home page, or an offer page - so the first thing the user sees is a bunch of not terribly relevant information about the history of the company making the offer, rather than the offer itself and the benefits to signing up.

So of course I can get clicks on that, because the ad isn't badly written, but people take one look at that inappropriate landing page, and flee. It will never convert as it stands.

And that same advertiser is probably over in the AdWords forum asking why they can't get any conversions on referrals.

Oh well.

The Contractor




msg:3417311
 9:28 pm on Aug 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

And that same advertiser is probably over in the AdWords forum asking why they can't get any conversions on referrals.

I see things the opposite and feel the advertiser knows exactly what they are doing, which is getting visitors for free and building up their brand without paying Google or the publisher a dime. Crappy ad copy and crappy landing pages = crappy conversions and costs nothing.

Content_ed




msg:3417329
 9:48 pm on Aug 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

they show off-the-wall ads and not what I have chosen

You have to uncheck the box that says "Pick best performing ads", otherwise, "Your chosen ads may not always show." This comes up in the Ad Shopping cart to the right side of the screen.

[edited by: Content_ed at 9:48 pm (utc) on Aug. 8, 2007]

Content_ed




msg:3417337
 9:56 pm on Aug 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

With all respect to Adsense, the available PPA ads, their ad copy and performance have been so poor in our ultra-mainstream category, we're gving up again to try a different test. We're running referal ads from another network that we haven't used for years, just to see if the conversion is as bad. I'm sure the click through will be better because the ads are more attractive, textually.

We may leave the PPA ads running on pages that never did well with regular ads to start with, but on our most popular content, I'd rather have no advertising than advertising that doesn't work (or pay).

koan




msg:3417339
 10:00 pm on Aug 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Speaking of clunky interface (sorry to quote myself), when you click on a particular referral program in the adsense main page to see their impressions (it would probably be easier if it was actually shown on the main page), the interface loads all the programs in an selection box in case you want to search for more. This is very heavy and forces my computer to pause for like 10 seconds, like if it was about to crash, taking a long time to download it all. It must be a 1 mb page or something. VERY annoying.

PS: what's the deal with the "Hot Best Selling Items 123" programs dumping their keywords everywhere. Get rid of that!

The Contractor




msg:3417424
 11:37 pm on Aug 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

You have to uncheck the box that says "Pick best performing ads", otherwise, "Your chosen ads may not always show." This comes up in the Ad Shopping cart to the right side of the screen.

But I don't want Google to choose them for me - I simply want the one I checked/chose. If I go to CJ and choose an advertiser and ad format, they don't change on me. Why show me ads/advertisers that won't show-up? Why give me a choice if they aren't going to show it anyways?

PS: what's the deal with the "Hot Best Selling Items 123" programs dumping their keywords everywhere. Get rid of that!

hehe...yes, you can only guess how well those would convert....not! They need to get serious about this if they are to be taken seriously - I'm sure they will someday.

[edited by: The_Contractor at 11:41 pm (utc) on Aug. 8, 2007]

Content_ed




msg:3417536
 2:02 am on Aug 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

But I don't want Google to choose them for me

Unclick the box and they won't choose for you, they'll only run the particular ad(s) you pick out.

The Contractor




msg:3417775
 11:36 am on Aug 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Unclick the box and they won't choose for you, they'll only run the particular ad(s) you pick out.

Completely untrue, did you read this thread? I am not asking a how-to, I'm saying their system doesn't work...hehe

[edited by: The_Contractor at 11:38 am (utc) on Aug. 9, 2007]

drall




msg:3417822
 12:41 pm on Aug 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

- When selecting specific campaigns and unchecking the box we started showing other ads then we selected again. A good example of this is when you build a great page about a product and select the product and tell your family friendly users all about the product and then for some reason out of the blue you start showing a inappropriate adult related ad, well, its broken.

- Ad copy, campaigns that are actually trying to convert are out of inventory before 10am est leaving campaigns that are obviously not trying to convert. They are simply looking for free branding and it is very obvious to see.

- My suggestion is for the google team to setup a account with other affiliate companies etc and check out the campaigns that companies are running, then look at the ones in the Google cpa backend. The copy and conversion ratios are like night and day.

Content_ed




msg:3417836
 12:56 pm on Aug 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Completely untrue, did you read this thread?

I though I did:-)

It worked for me, to the point that I've run channels for eeks with a single ad, nothing else. I can see where it would be very easy to make a mistake since the box has to be unchecked for every new advertiser you add to a channel, and checked is the default.

If it doesn't work for you guys, then by all means send in error reports.

netmeg




msg:3417920
 2:20 pm on Aug 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think part of the problem is that this is both an AdSense issue AND an AdWords issue, and all these useful criticisms might not get seen by everyone who needs to see them. I wish there were a way to make an item show up in two forums simultaneously. Meanwhile, I'm going to suggest to AWA that he copy out this entire post when he makes his weekly "suggestions for improving AdWords" report.

trinorthlighting




msg:3418194
 6:52 pm on Aug 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I am speaking from a publisher and an advertiser standpoint here because we help manage eCommerce sites and informational publishing sites.

From the advertiser standpoint, if a site sends a bunch of non converting traffic, they do not pay (which is good). If a site sends very good traffic that converts, you do get paid more than you would from pay per click.

Case in point, one of the publishers we assist had a very small niche about widgets. He knew that he had a lot of people who came to his site and were constantly asking where they could buy widgets because no one could find where to buy them on Google search. The publisher who ranked very well for widgets found two eCommerce sites that actually sold widgets. He looked at the eCommerce sites, found that it was not SEOíd real well and was lacking inbound links, but they were solid businesses that were honest. Basically, the eCommerce sites were showing up at the 100 plus ranking in Google. So the publisher picked up the campaign that paid out $9 per conversion. The publisher was making about $15 a day on the site from pay per click. The publisher is making about $45-$90 a day on conversions.

Publishers have to take into consideration what kind of traffic you are getting. If youíre in a niche that targets teenagers who have no purchasing power because they do not have jobs or credit cards, do you really think your going to reap the rewards of conversions? Probably not! Keep the pay per click. But if you are in a niche where products are hard to find and the product or service is in demand, well you can make a ton of money. Yes, publishers have to do some work and research, but it can be worth it.

All the new sites you build, you want to find those niches, you want to rank very well in the search engines for that niche, and last but not least, you want to attract purchasing power! A good hint, target business to business types of transactions since the most money flows there. Remember, itís not all about the traffic numbers you get; itís about the purchasing type of traffic you get. Remember, 10 conversions a day can outpace your pay per click easily for smaller publishers.

So has it improved? Yes if you are a smart publisher it has improved greatly.

michael webster




msg:3418208
 7:08 pm on Aug 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

When an advertiser's budget runs out, couldn't the gods residing on the google server send out an email?

We end up with big holes in our layout, or java script disasters.

How is this helping anyone?

The Contractor




msg:3418212
 7:10 pm on Aug 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

From the advertiser standpoint, if a site sends a bunch of non converting traffic, they do not pay (which is good).

And it looks like many of them are taking advantage of this by their ad copy and landing pages. You are right though, this is a two way street. But when the ad copy looks like it's a "message" instead of a call to action, and the landing page is drivel, with some landing on "About Us" pages as mentioned earlier...what's the chance of converting? I'm not saying there are NOT any good ad copy or landing pages, just none in a few niches I looked at and what others have described.

Realistically Google is out to compete with the likes of CJ etc. They have a loooooong way to go to even begin to catch up. If CJ is like a Marathon runner, Google Referrals is like an 9-month-old holding onto the coffee table.

So has it improved? Yes if you are a smart publisher it has improved greatly.

Maybe in your niche, but I wouldn't say all-around. Smart is generating the most money for your traffic - as of now I don't see this implementation of Google Referrals as doing that for the vast majority.

The Contractor




msg:3418215
 7:15 pm on Aug 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

We end up with big holes in our layout, or java script disasters.

They should not allow people to sign-up if their budget runs out by 10:00 AM every day. I simply don't understand this. Advertisers shouldn't have a budget at all since they only pay when it converts. That's like saying I only wish to sell 10 widgets per day - not 1000. Again, they need to get serious with the advertisers if they want to be taken seriously.

trinorthlighting




msg:3418283
 8:19 pm on Aug 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Contractor,

Your right, but also think outside the box. One of our clients who sell very pricey stuff on an eCommerce site put up a bunch of PPA ads for loans. It is converting. What does a loan have to do with what the eCommerce site sells? Nothing really except money. Funny thing is, people are probably clicking through to borrow money, eCommerce site gets the CPA, and then the people might come back to the site and make a purchase.

The Contractor




msg:3418389
 11:00 pm on Aug 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Believe it or not, I would really like to see Google nail this down like they did AdSense. It would be great to be able to stick some code on a page and have Google target "good" advertisers to the page in a rotation. Those that convert better and/or continually pay better would be shown more. This would drive the advertisers to write better ad copy and landing pages. If the ad copy sucks along with the "Advertisers" conversion rates, Google simply shows less and less of that advertiser until they pull the ad completely (completely automated). It doesn't matter how good the site/page is that is showing the ad, if the ad copy sucks so the user doesn't visit, along with a off-the-wall landing page...well that is the advertiser fault, not the site they came from.

There should never be an instance where there are blank spots on a page as the advertisers budget runs out... They need to let advertisers know that this isn't a branding avenue (as I see it right now) and Google shouldn't waste it's resources on advertisers that cannot pay per conversion, whether it's $10 or $100k per day.

They also need to shop the clients of their competitors and get some companies that have been in the game awhile that want to pay for every conversion (and work hard to covert every visit). I'm amazed at some the ad copy/landing pages and not even sure how they would pass AdWords scrutiny, let alone paying on conversion.

[edited for spelling]

[edited by: The_Contractor at 11:02 pm (utc) on Aug. 9, 2007]

koan




msg:3418440
 12:31 am on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

If the ad copy sucks along with the "Advertisers" conversion rates, Google simply shows less and less of that advertiser until they pull the ad completely (completely automated).

What's to stop those companies from pulling out the ad and create a new one whenever Google stops to show it? They still get free traffic and branding without paying a cent, contrary to PPC. They must be penalized in such a way that it cost them money not to convert.

drall




msg:3418482
 1:49 am on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Our site converts on a massive scale, our users and product space are amazing and I have affiliate companies flying me around entertaining us for a piece of our inventory. Thats how well we convert. We want to give you a piece of that inventory Google, we have been waiting a year for this.

Here is the problem for us, when you setup a campaign and deselect show best performing ads then implement this code on our product page which will interest this user, well the ad disappears when the budget is gone.

This can be in the first hour of the day or in 12 it doesnt matter. What we are then left with is a blank space or worse your targetting, I already know from looking at landing pages of the cpa advertisers who is trying to get conversions and who isnt. The problem is the ones who are trying to get conversions burn there budgets so fast that the campaigns die.

To pour more gasoline on the fire you are running the campaigns through regular adsense inventory now drilling out the converters at ninety times the pace as before. I have watched 30 or so good paying good converting campaigns die since you released it to general inventory.

Running the cpa ads through general adsense inventory at the same time as letting us select individual campaigns will never work unless you release the floodgates of advertisers. 40 or so companies that really want conversions cannot holdup to the onslaught of conversions that will come there way from the entire adsense network.

Some are setting up lead generation campaigns, some are looking at 500k-2.5m sales funnels which take months. Not all products are simple sales here. Even burger king can only sell so many burgers a hr.

I am sure you already know this, I am sure you are just testing stuff but you have to understand that from a affiliate marketing side, I cannot promote stuff that goes dead daily before noon. We have hundreds of thousands of users and page views a day, I cannot devote staff to campaigns that will go poofta in a few hrs enmasse. Until that problem is fixed the cpa program will be a dead duck for us.

I want nothing more than this program to work, I want to show millions of your Google CPA ads a month if you will let me.

The Contractor




msg:3418785
 11:36 am on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

What's to stop those companies from pulling out the ad and create a new one whenever Google stops to show it?

They can give them a probationary time-out where none of their ads show, 3 strikes and you're out...hehe

Seriously, Google needs to scrutinize the ad copy and landing pages. They need to completely seperate this from AdWords and do it right.

trinorthlighting




msg:3418989
 4:11 pm on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I like being able to pick and choose PPA ads. It keeps the MFA's ads off the sites and gives us the ability to display what fits us best.

koan




msg:3419391
 11:36 pm on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

After a day or two of trying the referrals once again, I still see that other ads are being shown even when you choose to display ONLY your selection. That sucks, especially when I actually disagree with those products and I wouldn't be caught dead promoting them willfully.

Oh and the referral page almost crashed this time, firefox gave me one of those "a script is running too long, do you want to stop" kind of error message. Do we really have to download ALL the products list whenever we check some stats?

I guess some sub categories would help also, the first broad ones are starting to have many many pages of products to go through.

Deliberating if I should wait again for another month or so, this is too beta for me. The only thing keeping me from it is there are some very cool products to promote that wouldn't be shown normally in contextual ads. I like to use a PHP script and show referrals every now and then.

Val_Resnik




msg:3426248
 7:30 pm on Aug 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

This is extremely annoying. There are some great products that I think would convert really well on my site, if Google would just show the ad that I intend to show, and not other stuff. :(

Huntster




msg:3426808
 1:34 pm on Aug 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

I tried these and still have a few floating around, but they're not for me.

I'm in very specific industries and areas and my ads are well paying and always on target. Unless I read this program wrong, it seems best for people who do not get on-target ads that pay well in a specific industry.

I have enough affiliate programs on pay per sale. I use adsense for the clicks (again - at least for me)

[edited by: Huntster at 1:35 pm (utc) on Aug. 20, 2007]

Deems




msg:3443625
 1:53 am on Sep 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

Referals 2.0 sucks

Its more like a scam job on publishers for free advertising then anything to make money from.

Like others mention, you can make real money with the likes of cj, rather than waste time with referrals 2.0

SAVE YOURSELF TIME - GIVE IT A MISS TILL 2008!

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