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Googles new Adsense referral programs.

     
12:55 am on Nov 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It seems to me that Google is making a bold statement with its recent referral program... and I have lots of questions.

Google is risking somewhere between $150M to $1B, more or less, on the notion that more Firefox browsers on the Internet favors Google, isn't it? - Or is Google simply performing a public service as Mr Nice Guy and helping out the Firefox people?
- Is it significant that this referral program is being introduced through Google's Adsense program?
- Could Google be wary of a powerful Microsoft that completely destroyed Netscape's business several years ago?
- $1 per install of Firefox... with the size of the market, couldn't that make a lot of rich Adsense folks with the right composition of traffic and website topics?
- Isn't the Firefox referral money something that would make Microsoft verrry nervous?
- Is this the start of a more visible struggle between Microsoft and Google to establish net dominance or parity in the coming years?

And speaking to the $100 referral for Adsense publishers...
- Google owns the contextual ad market presently... why does it need to spend big bucks to recruit more publishers when possibly a $10 or $20 fee would do?
- Could Google's latest earnings show that there is indeed a much larger share of the total advertising dollar to be had and ever more publishers are needed?
- Will this bring about some stability insofar as publishers are concerned, since Google seems to be admitting that it needs publishers badly?
- Is Google mustering a small mercenary army of publishers to help it in what appears to be its coming battles with Microsoft?

Those of us in the Adsense program are equally pioneering, as is Google. Two or five or ten years from now, will we look back on these Google decisions as positive or negative factors in a program that has brought such thrills and enrichment to many of us? Google has done well by most of us so far... will it continue?

1:44 am on Nov 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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are you telling me I can make a dollar for every one of my users who downloads firefox? If so... wow!
1:46 am on Nov 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I should pay more attention!
5:46 am on Nov 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I don't see an option for the $1 Firefox browser download referral? Is this because I'm in Australia?
5:55 am on Nov 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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This option is available only to US publishers
5:59 am on Nov 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Why the insistance on Firefox downloads? Why doesn't Google just want toolbar downloads? Is it vanity?
6:04 am on Nov 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Why the insistance on Firefox downloads? Why doesn't Google just want toolbar downloads? Is it vanity?

It's not enough getting Google's name onto the browser. It's getting Microsoft's name off that really makes it sweet for them.

6:22 am on Nov 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Could Google be wary of a powerful Microsoft that completely destroyed Netscape's business several years ago?

Netscape comitted suicide with the terrible Netscape 4.nn. That's the truth. It had nothing to do with Microsoft.

6:47 am on Nov 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Where are you getting this $150 million to $1 billion estimate? If you're referring only to the $1 per install, I'd be surprised if they paid as much as $1 million in commissions on this.
8:40 am on Nov 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Microsoft has made msn as default homepage for internet explorer. So, firefox+google may be a trick to avoid competetion from msn...
11:40 am on Nov 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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jetteroheller:
Netscape comitted suicide with the terrible Netscape 4.nn. That's the truth. It had nothing to do with Microsoft.

I think the US Department of Justice and courts have disagreed with this view. As a Netscape and Microsoft OS user during that time, I know I do.

jomaxx:

Where are you getting this $150 million to $1 billion estimate? If you're referring only to the $1 per install, I'd be surprised if they paid as much as $1 million in commissions on this.

You may be entirely correct with your estimate. I can find no absolute numbers on the amount of Internet users but the $150M refers ROUGHLY to the number of US Internet users that MIGHT be using IE as their browser and the $1B refers to a world population that MIGHT be using IE. These numbers, again, would only be rough estimates and consider only a payout of $1 per install, which may not occur in non-US countries. (I was more concerned with the overall big numbers than with actual figures, for the purpose of this discussion).
12:08 pm on Nov 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Google can also stop this payment anytime they want to all they need is a trend.

Google search is the default home pagefor Firefox. Do a search people see Adsense ads, Google makes money. $1.00 invested will probably be several earned.

12:31 pm on Nov 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It is interesting the Google is siding with Firefox so obviously.

Perhaps they feel it would be good for their young and in touch image to back the browser. Maybe they're testing the water to see the interest in a Google branded browser.

1:25 pm on Nov 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I think it's pretty obvious that first step of wresting away Microsoft hegemony in so many areas is to hit them where there is the biggest chink in the armour. That's IE. Firefox has all the momentum as far as browsers go and Google toolbar lets them collect tons of info on user habits. So what's not to love from G's perspective. A cheap way to promote themselves while backhanding Microsoft in the face.
4:10 pm on Nov 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I suspect Google the company and Firefox the company will be getting closer over the next year or so, much closer! So this referral system makes sense.

Also people who know what firefox is probably already have it installed and people who don't know what it is will probably just go to firefox's main site and download it there.

Also the $100 Adsense thing is only if the person makes $100 who signed up for Adsense via your link. So Johnnyspancakes.org, a new site, clicks on your adsense referral link, signs up, then you have to wait for johnny to make $100.

Most adsense users make less than $10 per month, I've read.

4:48 pm on Nov 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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And speaking to the $100 referral for Adsense publishers...
- Google owns the contextual ad market presently... why does it need to spend big bucks to recruit more publishers when possibly a $10 or $20 fee would do?
- Could Google's latest earnings show that there is indeed a much larger share of the total advertising dollar to be had and ever more publishers are needed?
- Will this bring about some stability insofar as publishers are concerned, since Google seems to be admitting that it needs publishers badly?
- Is Google mustering a small mercenary army of publishers to help it in what appears to be its coming battles with Microsoft?

I've been arguing here for a long time that the most important cog in the system is the publisher. Not google, not the advertiser. Publishers are what are in short supply ... and getting in an even shorter supply with competitors now making inroads.

$10-$20 fee won't do. Even the $100 is too little. Chitika pays 10% (for first 12 months). I make more than $100 every week from the Chitika referral program.

Why does it need to spend any money? Because search is a miniscule part of how people reach their destinations online. And it's only publishers that can get Google into all those spots they currently do. Google always needed publishers badly and can't afford to lose publishers to the competitors. There does not seem any immediate danger of that but should Google lose even 10% of their publisher base (in $ terms) the stock market reaction won't be pleasant.

Long before Microsoft becomes a contender they've got other wolves at the door.

When you start your post Christmas sales in the first week of December business must be rotten. If you start dishing out rewards for publisher recruiting this early in the game - and before the competition has even warmed up - I say that they're more than a bit concerned about their publisher base back at the 'plex.

If there is one way Google can shove advertising to more users - and without the help of publishers - it's by owning the browser. So they've covering that angle but they appreciate it's small change. The big bucks is still on your pages. You are the #1 partner in the three parties that make the system work.

6:45 pm on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Am I allowed to ask my members to download firefox and google toolbar on my forums?
7:03 pm on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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For the firefox referral, I find it weird for them to award less money to downloaders of other countries. Obviously, a conversion is a downloader/installer/user. So why would it matter what country the download/installer/user is from? Do they also have SP on firefox also? lol..
12:15 am on Nov 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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miracle:
Am I allowed to ask my members to download firefox and google toolbar on my forums?

While it seems like this program might benefit from a blitz of personal encouragement from publishers, many here have suggested treating this like one would Adsense ads - no undue attention. I would suggest getting a determination directly from Google... and please let us know what Google says.