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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.
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?
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]
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.
At the same time they are robbing Google
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.
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]
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.
"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!