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I know there have been a number of frustrating issues regarding Referrals 2.0 ads. Some of these are the result of underlying technical issues, which we're constantly working to resolve as quickly as we can, and some of these can be solved by publishers selecting certain settings when generating the referral code. I've been working with our referrals specialists and we wanted to share solutions to a few very common problems below.
1. If an advertiser ends their campaign or runs out of budget, those referral ads become unavailable and will stop showing on your pages.
If you've selected 'Pick best performing ads' or you've selected keywords or categories for your ad unit, then we will rotate different referral ads to fill the referral unit. If you haven't checked that option, your page will display an empty space where the now-unavailable ad used to appear.
To maximize your opportunities to generate referral earnings, we therefore recommend you check the 'Pick best performing ads' box when generating your referral code.
2. However, if you select an ad unit size that is only available for Google product referrals and check 'Pick best performing ads,' there's currently a system error that will cause no ad to be displayed. Our engineers are working to fix this as quickly as possible, but in the meantime, if you'd like to refer users to these Google products, please uncheck the 'best performing ads' box when generating code for that referral ad unit.
FYI - Many of you noticed that some of your referral ads weren't showing for a short time late last week. That particular error was resolved last weekend and shouldn't cause any more display problems.
Our engineers, product specialists and I sincerely appreciate your patience as we work out these Referrals 2.0 kinks. Please keep giving us your feedback on this product so that we can deal with bugs right away, expand the features that are working best, and generally continue to improve Referrals 2.0 for you.
Please keep giving us your feedback on this product so that we can deal with bugs right away, expand the features that are working best, and generally continue to improve Referrals 2.0 for you.
Thanks for the information ASA.
1. Provide some system so that when a publisher checks for new Referral Products, the latest are easily found. This will eliminate the need for the publisher to look through all the ads in hopes of spotting the new ones.
2. Define what is meant by 5 stars, 4 stars, etc. Does that mean it converts best, earns the most for publishers, or what?
3. I put this one last, but I think it's the most important. Without it, I can't see how the PPA program can ever progress very much.
Those of us with affiliate marketing experience know the importance of having a good landing page in order to generate the most conversions. A number of the PPA advertisers don't seem to understand this. One way or another, the advertisers need instruction and guidance on developing a good landing page to go along with the ad.
Publishers didn't pay much attention to this with PPC. But PPA is a different horse.
There also needs to be an option that if for some reason an ad drops out, we can select *something* else to fill the hole (we don't all necessarily want to run Google's choice of best performers for a category - in some cases they are poorly written ads, in some cases they are not relevant, and in some cases they could be competitors) If we select a single specific ad or set of specific ads to run on our sites, we should also have the option to have a CPC ad fill in the blank in the event the advertiser drops out.
I don't have time to constantly cruise the entire main index when I already have.
If there is a problem with an advertiser we should get a notice word next to them reguarding their status: active, withdrew, suspended, pending, etc.
I know it is new but we are just too in the dark as to what is going on.
edit reason: can't spell worth a dink
[edited by: Khensu at 4:55 pm (utc) on Aug. 11, 2007]
This would also allow me to have an "inventory" of ads in my Adsense account, and I could check or uncheck them at any time without going through the whole list and having to change my code.
Does this make any sense at all, or would it be too much of a burden on the Adsense servers?
2. When advertisers sign up their ad copy and landing pages need to be scrutinized - no more drivel for ad copy being used for branding purposes or landing on "about us" pages.
3. There shouldn't be a budget - period. If they are not in a situation to pay for each and every conversion, well they need to stick with AdWords or something. There is no logical reason that if I choose an ad, the ad will not be shown 24x365 unless the advertiser goes out of business. I doubt very much if I would paronize a gas station that shut down everyday after selling x number of gallons of fuel.
4. If an advertiser drops out of the program we should be notified via our control panel, which should have a separate tab for Referrals listing what advertisers the publisher currently has in use and stats on conversions and impressions.
5. If a specific advertiser/ad fails to covert after X number of impressions across the publisher network it should be flagged and scrutinized.
I am sure the smart people at Google have looked at the competition like CJ and fully understand when someone chooses a particular advertiser - it's for a reason. You cannot have disappearing ads leaving off-target or a large blank spot - period.
This whole program is a 3-way street and has to put money in the pockets of advertisers, Google, and the publisher. Right now the advertisers and Google donít seem to be too serious about it and this will lead to a tougher time down the road for publishers to take it serious(in my opinion).
[edited by: The_Contractor at 7:22 pm (utc) on Aug. 11, 2007]
I'm sure some of the categories may be short of products right now, but instead of just "recreation and sports" I might like to favor "golf" ads for one site I run, "tennis" for a different site, and "scuba diving" for a third site. If you run out of "golf" ads, then my selection should default back to show all "recreation and sports" category ads.
What is going on with you people? (Big G)
I have a PPA advertiser that does great on my site, a modest $3.50 conversion, except that I do 50 to 75 of them per day. I have 24 pages, I can run the banner on 21 of them. The other three pages it drops the banner and runs very low paying text ads, like 2 cents.
Yes the box is unchecked, your ad will always show. Maybe the server thinks it knows better than I do on a program I am supposed to have complete control over. I tried other ads on those pages but they still get dumped for low paying choices.
No direct contact number for support on this, even in the beta. Come on guys do you think we like being hung out to dry like that? I am no small publisher, I do mid 6 figures with Adsense and I have at least taken a $1,000 bath because of the antics of this last week.
Can you sticky me some kind of support contact? Please.
[edited by: Khensu at 3:10 am (utc) on Aug. 12, 2007]
It wasn't an issue at first, because my picks were showing up and doing well, as I knew they would ...then they must have gone over budget and disappeared, leaving me with crap ads that had nothing whatsoever to do with my category.
Someone else said that you should tighten up the categories that advertisers can choose to place their ads. Here, here. Right now they are showing up willy-nilly, and performing about the same.
I can't afford participate on this level. Things need to improve big time before I will use Referrals again.
A basic simple no-frills AdWords referral button doesn't work. Instead I'm getting text-based ads from web hosting and design companies. With or without "show best performing ad" checked. With one referral button selected or several. There just seems to be no way to display an AdWords referral button.
There should also be a way to search for a specific referral - if I'm running "best performing" and I see one on my site, and I want to go look it up, I have to guess at which category it is, and then page through over and over to find the ad (and it's like as not in the category I guessed at, because nobody is overseeing category choice)
I reiterate that there needs to be a way to exclude specific referrals from appearing on one's site even if they pick "best performing ads" - I saw one today that is of, let's say, a particular philosophical nature that I do not want under any circumstances.
I also had impressions for PPA ads even though I've never put any on my site. What gives?
And bring back the Picasa button please!
ASA, what's up with this?
Oh, and another thing. When I search for the product based on the product name neither of them can be found.
expand the features that are working best, and generally continue to improve Referrals 2.0 for you.
Firstly, it is a two way business, and Google's aim is to improve the system for you, but it is also aimed at improving the system for Google shareholders.
It seems like there are major issues on Referrals 2.0 and people will only be turned away from them until Google can get it right, which should have been done in trials, prior to making them public.
Another major issue that Google needs to attend to, is providing far better relations between publishers and themselves. Or are we just mere mortals who don't matter in the overall theme of things?
A travel product which was said to be applicable to Australia turned out to only offer its services in UK and Europe.
This probaly applies to adsense too but I find the boxes too limiting- Is there any way I can specify the exact box height and width (I am a bit anal about my page layout as its all CSS'd so I don't want to spoil it with odd shaped boxes!)
Any way we can get more text links only as the ads take up alot of space eg even if it said 'Widget (Referral By Google)' after it or something.
I saw one commison at over $100- I am a bit sceptical abot how far the lead would be tracked though as we have no way of knowing. I'll lurk around these pages before trying it as I am a bit confused as to how it works to be honest.
The shopping cart thing is confusing (to me anyway)-does it cycle all ads in a cart or just display one?
On the whole I am starting to experiment more and more with Google adsense 'products'- I like the search tool and it seems they are thinkig outside the box as to what people want-
Here is our problems with the CPA program and why we no longer run any of the campaigns in any capacity.
1. In order to weed out the 90% of the folks who are obviously not looking for conversions and are purely looking to skirt the system we have to select individual products that we feel have a decent likelyhood of converting. This feature does not work currently, either you still show other unselected campaigns or the campaigns do not last past 10 am est and we have a big blank space or untargetted junk.
2. Any webmaster that has affiliate experience understands that properly structuring a page to lead to a conversion is the biggest part of increasing your conversion ratios. IE the page is well written, explains the benefits of said product in detail and has little to no other advertising on the page.
When we choose a widget from the cpa program and then add it to what we feel is the appropriate page with our users that would be of great interest to our users and a high chance of converting with our users and the advert either doesnt show due to lack of inventory or shows other adverts then the cpa program is basically useless for this.
3. Given that the above points out how basically useless it is to target our users to individual campaigns then we are left with no other choice then to insert a general RON block and hope the system selects appropriate adverts. The targetting is ok but the ads generate abyssmal ctr rates and almost no conversions. This is because the system does not know our sites/users as well as we do.
In summary we tested the CPA program across many authority sites and in a endless amount of configurations and for us at least the CPA is a complete failure. Maybe this is worded strongly but it is the truth, there is nothing I want more then to run Google CPA network wide to our large audience but when you select a family friendly advert for your family friendly site and a adult related product shows then it is unusable. We have spent a great deal of our time at our expense testing your program and hope you take this feedback seriously.
Didn't I read somewhere that they were going to start serving up PPA ads amongst the PPCs whether you signed up for them or not?
I sincerely hope that isn't the case and doesn't ever become the case. PPA and PPC are most assuredly two different product types that shouldn't be combined.
On some of the referral code I've used the "pick best performing ads" option, but when looking at stats, I can see stats for ads named things like "leads," "mens" and even "product" I have no way of knowing what the actual product or ad was that appeared on my site. Nor do I know what their site looks like, what it sells, or anything about them at all for that matter. It's causing me to not want to ever select the pick best performing ads option, but when I don't I have the same problems everyone else is describing where the ad won't be displayed anymore after a few hours or days, this doesn't happen all the time, but often enough to discourage use. On that front, maybe you could make a notification system that at least lets publishers know that their referral ads for a particular advertiser are not being displayed for one reason or another.