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Google Referrals 2.0

PPA improved?

     
3:00 am on Jun 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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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

1:57 am on July 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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So please feel free to experiment with referral ads on your sites and find out what works for you.

Thanks, will try again this week then.

4:26 am on July 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I have a single large rectangle in the center of the page, blended. I put a referal 234 x 60 below it and it almost looks like part of the adblock. Experimented for a day with a different ad on all 24 pages and found one that worked. Then I put that ad on all 24 pages and that money is equaling my busiest CPC page. I get 3-4 page views per visitor so the repetition also helps cause interest.

You just have to find a few ads that click with your audience and it should turn out to be some nice extra cash.

7:59 pm on July 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The categories are unpoliced. Expect to find realy crap matching - furniture removal and glucose monitoring under 'Entertainment'.

Yeah, I see ads for shoes under "automotive" .. sigh.

9:56 pm on July 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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re:Yeah, I see ads for shoes under "automotive"

Brake Shoes.

12:45 am on July 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Brake Shoes.

I wish. More like "Find the best selection of [footware brand] footwear at [footware brand] [location]"

:D

2:41 am on July 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Yes, the shoes are a flintstones brand, ultra high friction, heat proof shoes worn when your brake shoes, are in fact your shoes
3:20 am on July 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I'd like to be able to view/preview actual image ads in a section at a given size rather than having to click though each advertiser. I'm specifically looking to view all image ads for actual ad quality. For example show all available leaderboard inventory in section health. This would help Google if you are listening.
5:51 am on July 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I'm going to have a heyday with referral 2.0, it's like a simplified, less regulated Commission Junction, no 3 page can and can't do lists for each advertiser...for now.
11:46 am on July 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I just wish Google would release this to all adwords advertisers, during the alpha/beta we had several good advertisers pull out due to there budgets being overloaded by publishers. Just to many publishers and not enough advertisers at that time.

Releasing this to all adsense publishers but not all adwords advertisers could yield a similar effect. Release this badboy Google so you/we can have a uber christmas:)

4:00 pm on July 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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All I want to know is how the per click revenue stacks up against regular adsense PPC ads?
9:00 am on July 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I tried them yesterday and was able to find the right publisher related to one of my sites. But to my disappointment, they look exactly like Adsense ads. I wish they could have been different.
6:20 am on July 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Some of the conversion only worth TRY 0.01 (no idea what currency is TRY)
Is it just me or anyone find that as well?
9:26 pm on July 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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TRY is the New Turkish Lira from Turkey..
9:45 am on July 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I tried it today on one of my sites which has a good PPC CTR%.

In a 4x4 grid, I placed 336x280 ppa ad across every page of my site in one corner, and 336x280 ppc ads in another corner. The other two corners were not changed. Both ppc/ppa ads looked identically the same (colors, links, even advertiser/content, etc.) and I'm sure the user couldn't tell the difference.

Strangely, the result was a very poor click through rate for the ppa ads and no conversion. I was looking for a good 50-50% CTR% mix. My PPC CTR% was larger by a factor of nearly 5. Looking at the Adsense reports page, I noticed that there were ads showing up that shouldn't have been. I specifically wanted the "show only these ads" and yet I was getting ads in the same general category. Im sure this attributed to the poor CTR. Duplicate ads would appear for that ad style and number of links. Perhaps I would try to test out with another smaller size later on. My hunch is that I would just get a higher CTR%, but conversion won't amount to a hill of beans.

But my concerns aren't the above...

Clicking on the referral links, I noticed the landing pages of the advertisers were unfair - they had placed buttons on their pages to have the customer call them. I can understand why those were there though because these businesses relied not only upon web orders but also from telephone sales which I have seen from their websites in the past. But heck if I am going to give free advertising when I referred the user to them.

Now frankly, I just cannot see how Google could possibly enforce this kind of advertising as the number of advertisers in the program increases. More so if it is in the business model of the advertiser to take on both telephone and web orders. Do I really have faith and trust in the advertiser in reading that cookie and following through and using it upon my visitors referral and subsequent purchase? I don't think so.

The only way I can see this working is if those landing pages are placed on Google servers and go through the Google checkout system. The publisher and advertiser must have trust in a source - Google. For this is what we are using the service for, aren't we? And why not force the transaction through Google Checkout to seal the deal?

To add additional resources to the trustworthiness of the landing pages, have a complaint page available where the Google police can deal with the issue. In addition, when the landing page changes and is uploaded from the advertiser it does not go live immediately. A notification is sent to all active publishers who have a link to the landing page. A voting approval of one or more votes would trigger it going live.

Like those ideas?

10:04 am on July 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I noticed that some of the advertisers in my area offer "trials" whilst others have a mishmash of everything except the product that is being advertised.
10:44 am on July 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I finally got one $xx conversion.

A problem I noticed when setting up the PPAs:

I selected the whole computer category and unchecked the box that asks G to optimize the displaying of ads. I assumed that it would rotate through the whole list. when i put the code on the pages I only saw the same ad over and over on all pages.

I went back and checked the optimize check box and replaced the code - now I get about 5 different ads. Apparently I can't have it go throught the 100 or so ads in that whole group.

3:34 pm on July 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Traffic leaks as usual with advertisers having phone numbers on sites and other cheat methods.
6:29 pm on July 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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now I get about 5 different ads. Apparently I can't have it go throught the 100 or so ads in that whole group.

When you choose the 'optimize' option, our system preselects and displays a set of referral ads that should perform best on your pages. Sailorjwd, the referrals team assures me that more than 5 out of 100 ads would have rotated through your referral unit, to make sure we weren't omitting potentially very successful ads, but it's unlikely that all 100 would've been shown.

-ASA

6:38 pm on July 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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quote - phone numbers on sites and other cheat methods - end quote

Thats not really cheating ... it's the publishers choice to show or not to show ads ...

CCF

9:37 pm on July 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Thats not really cheating ... it's the publishers choice to show or not to show ads .

Why would Google risk their reputation and integrity in administrating an advertising network with that line of thinking? A caveat emptor approach is a terrible way to build trust and confidence in a referral network.

9:49 pm on July 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Traffic leaks as usual with advertisers having phone numbers on sites and other cheat methods.

IMO, leaks should be considered from a business perspective.

If my goal is a 2% conversion rate and I'm getting a 2% conversion rate, I don't care if some of the traffic I sent to the advertiser ended up making a phone call instead of a web purchase.

How have I benefited if I get mad at the advertiser, stop showing his ads and end up with 0 instead of 2%?

FarmBoy

2:00 am on July 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Has anybody been trying referal ads as a replacement for a single PPC block per page? I haven't had the guts to try this on our site, I've only been putting referal ads on pages that we don't run ads on due to poor performance, which is sort of setting it up for failure. But our pre-Adsense experience was that PPA programs just don't work very well unless you're talking about small ticket items in volume.
2:12 am on July 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Farmboy:


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

Incredible. You start off this thread complaining that Google and the advertisers have work to do. And then switch gears and say you are willing to let advertisers put telephone numbers on their pages.

You sir, are the weakest link.

2:30 am on July 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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If my goal is a 2% conversion rate and I'm getting a 2% conversion rate, I don't care if some of the traffic I sent to the advertiser ended up making a phone call instead of a web purchase.

You forget the other option of choosing an alternative advertiser that doesn't cheat. Even if your goal is 2%, I'm sure you'll take the 3% from the other guy, if all things are considered equal, because he doesn't plaster his phone number all over the landing page and rob you 1%. It's one thing to show it on the rest of the web site, but advertisers should create landing pages specifically for google adsense publishers, ideally. They already get that traffic and branding for free.

I think this is your normal growing pains of setting up a new program like google referrals, and I'm sure in due time it will equal, if not surpass, Commission Junctions, but for the time being, I'll let the other publishers test it for me and I'll stick with reputable advertisers with a track record of honesty and performance on CJ.

I know advertisers have to deal with some junk traffic from shady publishers on Adsense (MFA sites, for one), but the risk is fully shifted from advertisers to publishers in this referrals program, so I think publishers are allowed to voice their concerns, just as much as Adwords advertisers voices theirs. Here's to hoping bad advertisers get smart priced too ;)

8:17 am on July 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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- 3 out of 7 (160x600 image) ads showing.
- Image often reverts to the small text version but the "ads by google" notice remains at the bottom of the 600 height leaving a lot of empty space.
- several landing page changes on one of the 3 showing ads. The current landing page makes it near impossible to convert and phone numbers now abound.

All in all the program has its merrits but there are too many bugs in the system to make it useful just yet. Large corporations are staying away for now too.

Other concerns:
- setting up the ad space is a nightmare with the iframe interface. 30 minutes with no search feature and as of now you can't filter out offers that aren't the size you need.

- The reporting is suspect still, several ads I havent chosen are showing up in the reports.

- The ads dont rotate. 95% impressions to one ad, 5% between the next two and no impressions for 4 ads.

All in all I'm happy to be just test driving this for now, if I relied on it for income there would be a strong case for removing it right now.

I'm still not sold on CPA either, giving away free space on my sites + giving away free traffic for no return 95% of the time is too heavy a price.

11:26 am on July 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I also found that the ad rotation simply does not work.

Whether you check the 'allow google to pick best ad' or not they just don't seem to rotate.

I ended up putting the codes for six ads in and using ASP to randomly select one.

And these selection of ads is totally useless, as are the categorization of the ads. I think ringtones show up in every category.

3:46 pm on July 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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ended up putting the codes for six ads in and using ASP to randomly select one.

I did the same with PHP, and it STILL wasn't very random - when I went to look at my stats, one or two ads probably showed 90% of the time.

4:18 pm on July 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Incredible. You start off this thread complaining that Google and the advertisers have work to do. And then switch gears and say you are willing to let advertisers put telephone numbers on their pages.

You sir, are the weakest link.

I'm not sure if that was meant to be a friendly jab or an attempt at an insult.

Regardless, I didn't say I am "willing to let advertisers put telephone numbers on their pages." I have no control over that.

I stated how I make decisions about advertisers that do place telephone numbers on a page.

FarmBoy

4:38 pm on July 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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You forget the other option of choosing an alternative advertiser that doesn't cheat. Even if your goal is 2%, I'm sure you'll take the 3% from the other guy, if all things are considered equal, because he doesn't plaster his phone number all over the landing page and rob you 1%.

If such a 3% advertiser exists, I'll certainly go with him regardless of whether he has a telephone number on his landing page.

FarmBoy

5:16 pm on July 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Just to make sure I understand these referrals, unlike regular ads, can I "drop" the links in casual conversations on our forums?

ie. can I recommend firefox and post the "get firefox with google toolbar" referral? From what I have read, this is allowed...

This 120 message thread spans 4 pages: 120