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Feedback on AdSense referrals?

     
12:09 am on Sep 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hey everyone,

The AdSense Referrals product team is looking for feedback on the current referral buttons. As we continue launching them for new languages and products, they want to know what's working well, and what might be improved.

They're especially interested in your thoughts and suggestions on colors, formats, styles...

I'll be checking this thread over the next several days to pass your comments along to the product managers. They won't be able to implement all of the suggestions, but it will definitely help them determine future directions to take referrals in.

Any thoughts you have will be great. Thanks!

-ASA

1:14 am on Sept 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Picasa referral buttons that actually say "Picasa".

If you want google branding on those buttons, that's fine, but at least have some buttons that refer to "Picasa" as well.

I actually use picasa for all the simple picture editing, and to help keep track of them, and leave photoshop for the more advanced stuff. If I write a review, I don't want to have to keep referring to "Google Photo Software" so that the readers understand that the referral button is how to get it.

I consider those referral buttons to be the equivalent of "get a Chevy Fast Car" instead of "Chevy Corvette" or even "Corvette".

2:04 am on Sept 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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How about letting us use our own creative.
2:32 am on Sept 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Perhaps a customisable icon similar to the text ads. The ability to select the colors in the button/banner would be great.

Some flash referral buttons might be in order.

2:45 am on Sept 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The AdSense Referrals product team is looking for feedback on the current referral buttons.

Hmmm...what I would like to know is this!

In the "unpaid for" Opera browser there is an AdSense 468.

Instead of the "Ads by Goooooogle" there is a "Related Searches" with clickable links.

I WANT THAT NOW ON MY LEADERBOARD

It's the best thing I've seen since AdLinks!

2:54 am on Sept 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The buttons and banners are so plain. Why can't we get something very colorful? and if its a problem then let us have it similar way we have other adsense ads.

The visual appealing questions may not arise for contexual advertising. Still we are allowed to change the color schemes but when it comes to fixed images we don't have any choice than to accept whatever G offers.

And they have made it so plain (I won't call it simple because simple is beautiful)that its very difficult to convince myself to add it to the site.

I have seen the banners, adding the beauty to the page. Why can't G provide such banners for referel products?

3:07 am on Sept 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Instead of the "Ads by Goooooogle" there is a "Related Searches" with clickable links.

Do you not remember the mess it created when they did that? What was it 2 years ago.

I for one, want absolutely nothing to do with Related Searches. I am not a search engine.

3:08 am on Sept 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Picasa referral buttons that actually say "Picasa".

Agreed. I'm not sure it's good to see Google everywhere.

I'd also like to see "download for free" for Picasa and perhaps mention its editing capabilities on top of photo organization.

Can't complain about the color. The light grey and green match my site quite well. Custumized buttons would still be great though.

4:49 am on Sept 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The "add Picasa brand" comment is good.. I wonder why you don't mention that it is free? That would seriously increase the click rate. I like the buttons in general but the grayish gradient ones are awful and will not blend well with most designs, I would prefer colorful variations from the original white ones, while staying simple, of course. I think you should add the logos of your product also (Picasa, Google Pack) next to the slogan, like you do with firefox, it adds to the visual appeal, otherwise it can be a bit bland.
4:51 am on Sept 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Referral buttons that would've convert customers in ANY language would be nice.

They are bland, uninteresting, and the CTR is horrid.

[edited by: incrediBILL at 4:52 am (utc) on Sep. 12, 2006]

5:04 am on Sept 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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In-text links would be nice. It would mean we could write an article about Picasa and have embedded referral links..
5:23 am on Sept 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hi ASA,

Thanks for asking.
Without trying to be insultive;
looking at the referral buttons I sometimes doubt if Google really wants people to download their software because:

- some of the referral buttons are hardly readable
- not all of them provide a convincing call to action (this site monetized....so what?)
- can not be customized to blend into their context

If I wanted this to work I would provide some buttons and text links with a strong call to action (click here to download the free ... etcetera) and give my publishers the same options to alter the code as with ad-blocks.

And I second the statement that the best thing would be if publishers can write their own creatives. That way textlinks will perfectly match the publishers content.
If I have a site about taking pictures of widgets, I want a button that says: "Want to modify your widget pictures? Click here to download the free Google Picasa software now!".

7:01 am on Sept 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The artwork on the banners/buttons looks somewhat boring and comes in too few flavours. Also, I noticed that some of the ads do not make use of a transparent background on the edges (they appear as solid grey instead of rounded) which is why the design does not look perfect on pages that do not use this color as background.

I second that we should be able to write our own ad copy or design our own banners.

9:45 am on Sept 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have a bunch of suggestions but here are a few.

1. The biggest is really really simple. You know how we have the alternate ad option in the adsense code – why can't we simply select various adsense referral products as the alternate ads. At the moment I have to create my own page, point to it as an alternate ad, then if I want to rotate the ads, ah it just gets a bit too messy. That's assuming of course that I there is a suitable format – see point 2:

2. More common formats – medium rectangle, 728 banners

3. These are ads for products, but they don’t do a very good job of making people curious. Much of the stuff is free and made by Google, but why not something like

'Picasa photo software. It's made by Google and free. What else could you want?'
Or 'Picasa: It's Google, it's free, it's good'

Sticky me for an address to send the cheque ;)

Dark Mage

10:50 am on Sept 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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1/3 of my earnings come from referrals, so this is important to me:

1) I second allowing us to use referral as alternate ads.

2) Get the Google Doodler on the job, the graphics need some livening up.

3) More languages, many still missing.

4) In Advanced reports I want to see the conversions too

5) Finally: Why not throw in your algorithm into the referral product choice too? i.e. We place a general referral code, your algo plays them all and detects which product performs best in which page, and to which country, and chooses accordingly, having this as an option for publishers to test will go a long way, but remember to allow publishers to opt in for which products combo they want to run with this code.

10:53 am on Sept 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The AdSense Referrals product team is looking for feedback on the current referral buttons.

Most buttons have rounded borders with white background, they can't be used on pages with backgrounds other than white.
Possible Solutions:
- make them transparent gifs without antialiasing
- supply us with more non-rounded images
- make the background color configurable

Additionally I would like to see some animated ones (gif or swf).

Stuff them with keywords: "free" (german: "kostenlos") and "download".

CTR is quite high for referrals but conversions are low.
I guess ppl are even downloading but then forget about it and don't install. Can't that be forced?

10:55 am on Sept 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hi,

I'd dearly like to be able to use (say) Picasa referral buttons on a fallback page from (say) square AdLink units. It would be a good fit for my site, and especially useful where AdLink and only AdLink refuses to find matching items (other AS ad units are fine), especially on new pages.

At the moment this appears to be prohibited by Ts&Cs, confirmed by AS support.

I think you could turn this round and make it an explicit fallback option (alongside solid colour, etc) for AdLink units. I can't see a reputational or other downside from this.

Rgds

Damon

[edited by: DamonHD at 10:57 am (utc) on Sep. 12, 2006]

12:01 pm on Sept 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yes

Point 5 made by Hobbs about the algo - that's highly valuable. It is pretty much what is great about Google (and some other networks) is that you paste code once and it takes care of everything.

Having a wide choice of ads doesn't mean a thing if most fail on your site.

12:47 pm on Sept 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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how about making the 'Ads by Google' links referral links to AdSense :-)

Chitika have started doing it - I've always thought AdSense should too.

12:48 pm on Sept 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I would like to suggest following points.

1. multilanguage support.
2. same referal fee in developed countries.
3. algorithm that checks whether user is using firefox or have picasa installed, if he/she does replaces to any other referal.

1:56 pm on Sept 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hi ASA.

In the Firefox referral, I like the "Browse the web faster" line of the original designs better than "Browse the web more securely" of the new ones. Can there be at least one of the new 120x240 designs that uses the old text instead?

Thanks!

[edited by: Play_Bach at 1:59 pm (utc) on Sep. 12, 2006]

3:42 pm on Sept 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Agree with most that the creatives are not very appealing. I like the old "spreadfirefox.com" creative options much better. In fact, I run those on my site knowing that they don't generate revenue just because the look so much nicer than that referral buttons G offers.
3:53 pm on Sept 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hi Adsense Advisor. I would like to request that we be allowed to place more than one referral button of the same category (like Google Adsense Referral) on a page. I have a site or two where I put the referral button in an include on all pages in the sidebar area and on one or two pages I would like to reference the button/adsense affiliate program within the text. Same with some blogs I have where I put it in the sidebar which makes it show up on all pages - I would also like to reference the program in an individual post or on a page. Thanks.
3:56 pm on Sept 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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PICASA - would be nice to have some pictures on it -
like photocamera (or lens) -
ctr is horrible now.

Second - follow chitika - "ads by google" should be referral for adwords/adsense

3:56 pm on Sept 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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1) Absolutely should say "Picasa" on the buttons/links

2) Absolutely needs to emphasize FREE on the buttons/links

3) The buttons are okay (albeit not very exciting) but I use the text links in many places, and I would like to have a shorter text link.

4) Our own creatives would be fantastic; failing that, I think AdSense should lift the ban on calling attention to ads for referral buttons. After all, the users have to download the software and install it before it counts anyway, so what's the big deal?

If you don't want to let people write their own creatives, you could have at least let some of us submit some of our own ideas for general use.

I have done pretty well with referrals, and with just a LITTLE bit of tweaking/my control could do a whole lot better - and thus, Google does better too, right?

I'm glad you guys are finally looking at this. To my mind, the program is severely underdeveloped and never gotten the attention it merits.

3:56 pm on Sept 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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More than one referral ad of the same product per page is a good idea, give us the perks of PPA, we'll give you back good results.
5:06 pm on Sept 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I feel the word FREE on the buttons/links should be more prominent.
People seem to want Free stuff!
5:33 pm on Sept 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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[x] "ads by google" should be referral for adwords/adsense
5:33 pm on Sept 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I agree with actually saying Picasa rather than photo software or what ever it is. Some flashier ads would be nice. Like someone mentioned similar to the spread firefox buttons.

Customizing buttons would be nice. Maybe one way to compromise between customizing and G maintaining control would be to allow us to submit a URL to a image file to serve as the background. Then we could pick the ad copy and color that way we get a more custom look and google maintains control of the copy.

6:22 pm on Sept 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've tried the buttons. They were rarely clicked and had zero conversions.

IMHO, the buttons are unattractive. Perhaps they should be flat with square corners and be available in a multitude of colors so that we can pick which will most complement our sites. Or be eye-catching.

I've tried the text version. A few clicks with only one conversion for Picasa. Better but still not good. Perhaps a change to the words used could help.

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