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Google Affiliate Network Payments to be Through Google Adsense Accounts
Marcia




msg:3966485
 10:27 pm on Aug 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

It'll be available later this month, consolidating payments if valid Affiliate and Adsense accounts are linked.

Google Affiliate Network publisher payments will soon be made through Google AdSense accounts. AdSense will offer you a wider range of payment options, improved ways to manage payment information, and consolidated payments from Google (if you're working with other Google products).

Web page with new payment option announcement [view.emailcomm-google.com] has details. The original email came through the Google Affiliate Network Publisher account.

If the Affiliate and Adsense accounts are then both tied in with Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools, it should facilitate improving affiliate sales for Network merchants.

[edited by: Marcia at 11:11 pm (utc) on Aug. 5, 2009]

 

buckworks




msg:3972289
 10:25 pm on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Ok, thanks. That is clearer to me now.

I agree that this seems like a major illogicality in the system.

Marcia




msg:3972292
 10:32 pm on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Sounds like Google, who supposedly "sold" COnnectCommerce/Performics to some french outfit in 2008 (many press releases online), is enjoying the affiliate revenue stream. A blatant conflict of interest for a Search Engine which everyone seem to accept now.

Yes, they did sell it. That was the "search" portion of the business, not the affiliate side. So there's no conflict of interest in that respect, and never was.

How would a Search Engine increase revenue of its affiliate network? Hmm..let's see, gee...I guess they could:
1) not penalize thin affiliate sites that use Performics links vs. every other thin affiliate

But they already HAVE been hitting thin affiliate sites that have Performics links. Why in the world would that change now?

2) use other ways to influence their algo based on participation in Google affiliate network

That would take cherry picking sites by human hand review - and many of the huge revenue producers mask their affiliate links.

3) ban/demote etc. affiliates in SERPs who use other network's thin content

They already zap thin sites in the SERPS, irrespective of network, and have been for a while.

4) collect tons of conversion data, and based on that expand their own services

Why wouldn't they already have access to conversion data? And what kind of services do they have that could be expanded based on that data, which they no doubt already have?

5) based on conversion data bump up cost of Adwords advertising
do I need to go on?

The market takes care of that quite nicely. Free market competition really does work, especially when quality standards are bumped up.

Maybe Google needs to go back and rethink their position on Performics.

Well, I think they need to rethink the user-friendliness of their affiliate platform from a publisher point of view and grow their affiliate base. The merchant base has already been growing.

This merging of accounts is bound to cause some increase in tin-foil hat apparel, no less than the Analytics paranoia and the "Adwords SERP manipulation" theories.

Personally, I think a primary reason could be to cut down on redundancy and administrative costs in the payment process. Cut costs = increased bottom line. Easy peasy.

La_Valette




msg:3972311
 11:15 pm on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Personally, I think a primary reason could be to cut down on redundancy and administrative costs in the payment process. Cut costs = increased bottom line. Easy peasy.

That certainly won't work if perfectly good publishers and the revenue they bring in are thrown out in the process, just because they had adsense accounts disabled in the past...

celgins




msg:3972327
 12:03 am on Aug 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

celgins: It makes no sense to go through the Adsense approval process and review a publisher site to decide if it would be a good fit for Adsense if the publisher has zero interest in Adsense anyway and only wants to use GAN.

Actually, Adsense is probably being marketed in this sense. If you are a GAN publisher who brings in $$$$ through the GAN network, Google may be attempting to introduce those publishers to Adsense ads. I think the approval criteria for both Adsense and GAN may be on the verge of merging.

Likewise, a prior ban from Adsense because somebody at Adsense believed the site is not a good match for that program, for whatever reason, should not constitute a ban from GAN, which is a completely unrelated product.

I don't think Google believes they (GAN and Adsense) are totally unrelated anymore--especially since Google owns both networks. Yes--one is based primarily on banner ads and text ads that can be distributed through email--while the other is based on pay-per-click ads. Either way, Google is probably looking at your site (as a whole) to determine whether it is a good fit to run ads through either network (GAN and Adsense).

I think Google is basically stating: "If your banned site isn't good enough to run Adsense ads, it's probably not good enough to run GAN ads."

Marcia




msg:3972332
 12:38 am on Aug 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

It's possible for a site to do very well with affiliate programs and still have low Adsense revenue. They're completely different in a number of ways.

One example is that Adsense sits passively on the side, top, or whatever - not in the "active window" section of pages. As obvious ads, they can be subject to ad blindness. You can't, per the TOS, encourage clicks.

On the other hand, a good affiliate will sell both the merchandise and the merchant, encouraging a clickthrough and helping along with conversion by preparing the prospective customer in a positive way.

Another factor: text links imbedded into relevant, well written page sales copy are historically far more successful than ads sitting over on the side, top or bottom - either banners or Adsense (which is obviously ads).

Google doesn't need more stats of any kind to know which are better, all they have to do is study up on the past several years of affiliate marketing and interpret stats and data they already have. Their Adsense CPA ads didn't work, either for them or publishers, because it was an untenable hybrid model, without any of the benefits of affiliate marketing - like return days and negotiable commissions.

Adsense is, by nature, passive and has nothing to do with active marketing - and offers little to no flexibility. (No hard, grueling work updating products, either - a big plus.)

On the other hand, affiliate marketing is active and creative. And flexible, not only in how it's promoted, but in the ability of publishers (affiliates) and merchants to negotiate on terms - return days and commission boosts. Maybe not at GAN they don't negotiate for private deals and VIP commissions, but it sure happens a lot at other networks.

A blend of both is the best of both worlds for publishers IMHO, since Adsense is so EASY and virtually maintenance free, other than adding ads to new pages, and affiliate marketing can involve a lot of constant wrist-busting work, which at times doesn't result in positive returns.

Old threads on affiliate marketing and advertising:

text links vs banners [google.com]

Bennie




msg:3972333
 12:57 am on Aug 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

Nice post Marcia, great points.

Woz




msg:3972334
 1:11 am on Aug 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

Seems to me that Google needs to set up an independant "Payments Account" for all payees through which any and all payments, Adsense, Aff, whatever, are channelled. This would then solve the "Banned Adsense Account" and/or "Banned Aff Account" problem. Not sure why this was not done in the first place to be honest. Seems rather sensible.

Onya
Woz

La_Valette




msg:3972349
 2:06 am on Aug 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

I think Google is basically stating: "If your banned site isn't good enough to run Adsense ads, it's probably not good enough to run GAN ads."

I don't think so. I do believe Google when they say they're really just trying to have one billing system instead of two. An Adsense account disabled for invalid click activity has nothing to do with affiliate marketing, where 99.999% of offers are now pay-per-action and invalid clicks would benefit nobody. Marcia's comments above are right on too.

Woz: that would of course be yet another solution to this issue besides the two possibilities I suggested earlier - although I'd really like our Adsense account to be reinstated given the particulars of our case, we'd be happy with that too.

coolfx35




msg:3972355
 2:59 am on Aug 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

La_Valette,

Sorry to hear that, I guess it's time to jump ships, I've been having good success with commission junction as well linkshare.

I am assuming google will be paying you all the money they owe you on GAN.

La_Valette




msg:3972356
 3:06 am on Aug 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

coolfx: hopefully it won't come to that. We really don't think we deserved a permanent disablement of our Adsense account to begin with, let alone losing our GAN account. I'm hoping that somebody from Adsense or GAN sees this thread and can do something about it.

Nothing is going right today though - just chipped a tooth over dinner...

Marcia




msg:3972496
 3:22 pm on Aug 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

I am assuming google will be paying you all the money they owe you on GAN

It looks like they'll pay up through a certain sale/commission date using the "old way", and after that switch over. They did mention some cut-off date on the web page with the announcement.

La_Valette




msg:3972513
 4:37 pm on Aug 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

Frankly it would be ridiculous if we were to lose our GAN account over this - which is the path we're currently on. This is all rather surreal to me. Google just feels to me like a big bureaucracy like the IRS or DPS more and more these days, unresponsive to smaller players like us experiencing somewhat individual situations. I don't think anyone at Adsense or GAN actively intended for this mess to happen, but so far all our efforts to get it rectified have been futile.

celgins




msg:3972574
 7:55 pm on Aug 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

It's possible for a site to do very well with affiliate programs and still have low Adsense revenue. They're completely different in a number of ways.

You and I both know that, but the question is, does Google know (or believe) that?

La_Valette did state that the website never generated large amounts through Adsense, but also noted the site was banned from Adsense due to invalid clicks. I don't know what Google's definition of low revenue is, and at what point they ban sites for it, but their trigger for banning sites for invalid clicks is quite delicate.

Either way, La_Valette stated that they were never told why the site was banned from Adsense. Low totals--invalid clicks--it's all a guess.

Those were great points Marcia made a few posts back, but Google must be basing its decision on something (i.e. the decision to remove GAN publishers with previously banned Adsense accounts). That decision, in my opinion, has nothing to do with restructuring their payment processes.

I think Google is basically stating: "If your banned site isn't good enough to run Adsense ads, it's probably not good enough to run GAN ads."

I don't think so. I do believe Google when they say they're really just trying to have one billing system instead of two.

I'd like to believe it too. However, I just find it difficult to believe that Google is willing to dispose of good GAN publishers who are generating a high ROI for advertisers. To do that, for billing restructuring purposes, isn't very smart.

farmboy




msg:3972581
 8:27 pm on Aug 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

That certainly won't work if perfectly good publishers and the revenue they bring in are thrown out in the process, just because they had adsense accounts disabled in the past...

I wonder how many people there are who are good GAN publishers but previously were thrown out of AdSense?

FarmBoy

swa66




msg:3972594
 8:46 pm on Aug 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

Also you need to see the loss of an occasion ad network publisher that got in bad standing with adsense from Google's side: Can we expect them to believe we're a "good" publisher on one business unit when the other business unit banned us ?

Aside of that, even if there are such (most likely there are a few), they'll be a minority that needs to be outweighed by the greater good this merge does:
- decrease overhead at Google
- possibilites of better integration down the line (getting potentially all adsense advertisers to carry some ad networks stuff instead of on some competing affiliate scheme must sound interesting in the boardroom)

Individually we're too small a fish to count for much, but if you are among those with a banned adsense account maybe it's time to write them an email about the issue.

It's not the first time Google integrated their different tools they have, e.g. doubleclick: adsense gets doubleclick ads all the time now. It used to be a competitor of sorts at one time; the integration with analytics ; ...

We can whine a lot about it all, but in the end all those changes are intended as improvements and I'm sure for many it are in fat improvements in reality as well.

IanCP




msg:3972625
 11:14 pm on Aug 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

"If your banned site isn't good enough to run Adsense ads, it's probably not good enough to run GAN ads."

I have the opposite problem. First application to GAN rejected. Carefully peruse list of objections, fix a few minor things and apply again, rejected second time.

I don't care so much but there is one particularly good affiliate programme that would really dove tail into my sites which uses GAN. The sole reason I originally applied.

Google seems to have some funny ideas at times.

vik_c




msg:3972825
 1:53 pm on Aug 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

Why not combine Google AdSense and Google AdWords accounts? Publishers should be able to pay their AdWords bill with AdSense income. It would save a lot of transaction costs especially for foreign publishers.

Marcia




msg:3972876
 3:49 pm on Aug 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

>Why not combine Google AdSense and Google AdWords accounts?

Those two involve completely different types of accounting categories and different accounting procedures. There would be a convoluted cross-over between asset and liability accounts.

>Publishers should be able to pay their AdWords bill with AdSense income.

Putting a publisher's AdSense commissions into the publisher's AdWords account as one of the payment options would be consistent (and probably workable), and may be one of the options they'll be offering in the future. But that isn't combining them.

esllou




msg:3972951
 5:50 pm on Aug 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

webmasters have been asking for that since 2003. :)

coolfx35




msg:3973399
 2:07 pm on Aug 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

Can you imagine if google is a country? it'll be worse than the communist north korea where 25% of all publishers will be given death sentense or life in prison for suspecting of stealing money.

Unfortunately, that's the internet world we live in.

La_Valette




msg:3973486
 4:24 pm on Aug 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

Given than an Adsense account is now necessary to get paid via Google Affiliate Network, I strongly believe Adsense should reconsider appeals from GAN people - or, more simply, just reopen their Adsense accounts and give them a second chance. In our case we were never told exactly what we did to get our Adsense account disabled, but we're pretty certain that whatever mistake we made (if any - since Google only told us that our account "posed a risk", it's not like they seemed certain themselves) couldn't have merited a lifetime exile sentence.

Marcia




msg:3973564
 5:44 pm on Aug 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

It might make more sense the other way around, to pay Adsense through GAN. The reason is that after acceptance into GAN a publisher has to apply for merchants individually and be approved for each one.

Exclusions from participation in one or the other could be easier to do on their end if that were the case. I do know that for approval in merchants' programs, they have to approve the publisher's site.

There also might be more control over "Adsense sites" since there's a whole booming cottage industry out there selling make-a-million systems with auto-generated MFA scraper sites - and making loads of money selling the systems to the unwary with hyped up claims and "success" stories. They have the gall to advertise on TV, even. You can see such sites using intext: with Google's advanced operators.

dexteronline




msg:3973764
 12:13 am on Aug 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Those GAN members who had been banned from AdSense or can't join AdSense will get their earnings up till 10/31/2009 with current payment method in GAN

This was quoted by Kariyushi a Google Employee on GAN help forum, following in an excerpt

"
You have an option to either resubmit a declined AdSense application or appeal an AdSense account that was disabled due to invalid activity. Unfortunately, you will no longer be able to participate in Google Affiliate Network if you are not able to link your account to an approved AdSense account. If you are unable to link to an approved AdSense account, we plan to terminate your Google Affiliate Network account on October 31, 2009. Any earnings prior to this date will be paid to you, through the existing accounting information on file with Google Affiliate Network (physical check mailing or ACH deposit)."

La_Valette




msg:3976490
 4:48 pm on Aug 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

That's the standard information GAN is giving out to all enquiries - it's also online at:

[google.com...]

The problem of course is getting Adsense to reconsider appeals. One can only hope that things change before 10/31/09... so far there are no signs of this though. I really wish there was somebody I could talk to at Adsense about getting our account off the disabled blacklist since we really don't deserve this effective lifetime ban we currently have - we barely used our account to begin with, and we'd observe Adsense terms religiously if we were to be given a second chance.

If anyone reading this knows an understanding person who I could talk to there and can private message me their contact information, I would appreciate it very much.

coolfx35




msg:3976512
 5:18 pm on Aug 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

La_Valette: - I feel sorry to be in your situation. I am on the same boat but so glad I found a better way to monetize my sites using other affiliate networks. It's definitely good to know that they are still paying me back the money they owed me, and then close my account.

Unless you are a big earner on GAN ($100k+/month) I doubt google will change this rule just for you, because to google, it's just few rice inside a pot. Google has no mercy to its banned adsense publisher, because they don't want to risk their credibility or reputation, because their bread and butter is adsense and adwords.

La_Valette




msg:3976607
 9:18 pm on Aug 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

Unless you are a big earner on GAN ($100k+/month) I doubt google will change this rule just for you, because to google, it's just few rice inside a pot. Google has no mercy to its banned adsense publisher, because they don't want to risk their credibility or reputation, because their bread and butter is adsense and adwords.

We're not asking for any rule change really - there is an appeal process already in place for disabled Adsense account and we'd like our appeal reconsidered. We're not a risk to Google's credibility or reputation either. I don't think we've ever been a risk to anybody's credibility or reputation for that matter.

I am quite certain that reconsidering Adsense appeals for good GAN publishers who had Adsense accounts disabled in the past would be a good business decision for Google.

kire1971




msg:3977698
 2:07 pm on Aug 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

I was also deactivated from AdSense more than 4 years ago for invalid clicks and all appeals have been denied or ignored. I still have no idea where the invalid clicks might have come from but, like La_Valette, I have given up on the issue and don't even want to be part of AdSense anymore.

I do however want to remain a GAN publisher. I've been a Performics (GAN) publisher since before there was an AdSense and now I am likely to get removed at the end of October. In fact, when AdSense began, it was a Google representative that contacted me about joining AdSense. I guess I wish I never made that decision.

Surely, with all the experts and programmers at Google, there must be a way to simply deactivate the AdSense portion of the account while still remaining part of GAN. I can only assume that they don't want to do that.

At the very least, i'll have the satisfaction of closing my AdWords account and no longer giving them my advertising dollars.

coolfx35




msg:3977709
 2:20 pm on Aug 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

At the very least, i'll have the satisfaction of closing my AdWords account and no longer giving them my advertising dollars.

In my case, they didn't want my advertising dollars.

I was spending around $1k per month on adwords, until 2 months ago, my adwords account was banned for creating more than one account since because my adgroup maxed out(allowed 25 adgroups per adword account)

The new account I did used a $25 dollar promotional code I got from my hosting company.

I know it's not within the topic, but I just had to get it out.

Google seriously needs to review it's strict policies at times.

swa66




msg:3977982
 9:43 pm on Aug 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Google seriously needs to review it's strict policies at times.

Yep, agree: they need to make them MORE strict.

Not implying anything about specific WebmasterWorld members (out of mere ignorance on what y'all specifically were/are doing), but in general there still are far too many scammers on both sides of adwords and adsense: weed them out, please!

La_Valette




msg:3977986
 9:56 pm on Aug 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Yep, agree: they need to make them MORE strict.

Not implying anything about specific WebmasterWorld members (out of mere ignorance on what y'all specifically were/are doing), but in general there still are far too many scammers on both sides of adwords and adsense: weed them out, please!

Lifetime bans for unspecified first-time offenses seem on the extreme side to me. To this day we don't know what exactly we did wrong, and we'd be more than willing to be careful to avoid it if we knew what it was and were given a second chance. And as your post implies, the current policies don't seem to be having too much effect on the real scammers and bad guys either...

Besides, whatever your opinion on this subject, throwing people out of an unrelated product like GAN becuase of previously disabled Adsense accounts doesn't make sense. Most people seem to get booted from Adsense for suspicion of "invalid clicks". Even in cases where this accusation is grounded, invalid clicks are irrelevant to pay-per-action networks like GAN. GAN campaigns are not pay-per-click.

dexteronline




msg:3979793
 2:05 am on Aug 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

I received a AdSense Payment Method Satisfaction survey yesterday from Google. So it seems Google is thinking about getting new methods of payment available to its publishers.

As a lot of people were requesting EFT or Western Union or other methods such as Payoneer MasterCard Debit Card options. For certain countries only a few options are available. Now that Google has merged its payouts to GAN and other services with AdSense, they are looking into new methods of payments that will fix the outcry from a lot of its publisher. As of now AdSense publishers in certain countries are charged $50 to get a $100 check cashed. In fixing this Google had to put all publishers payout in one place.

It's a bit unfair to those who made good money with GAN but lost out on AdSense. The other day some GAN publisher posted his earnings from AdSense ($90) and GAN ($2000) so obviously there will be a lot of good GAN earners who will lose out on this

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