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But overall, Google just never devoted the resources on either the AdWords or AdSense sides to do referrals right, so it's just as well.
Not sure why they're ending referrals for Google products, except maybe they feel they don't need it anymore.
We're constantly looking for ways to improve AdSense by developing and supporting features which drive the best monetization results for our publishers. Sometimes, this requires retiring existing features so we can focus our efforts on the ones that will be most effective in the long term. For this reason, we will be retiring the AdSense Referrals program during the last week of August.
See also: Doubleclick Performics is now Google Affiliate Network [webmasterworld.com]
"Please take a moment to remove all referral code from your sites..."
That (to me) shows a major disconnect with webmasters who run adsense, referral code, etc.
Take a MOMENT to remove/change anything? HAHAHAHA
How about this:
"Please take the next several weeks of your life to remove..."
(thank goodness I gave up on referrals long ago!)
I guess I've found something to do in August... I certainly won't be spending a lot of time at the bank!
[edited by: Chapman at 4:19 am (utc) on July 1, 2008]
"In 2006 the Mozilla Foundation received US$66.8 million in revenues, of which 61.5 million is attributed to "search royalties".
The foundation has an ongoing deal with Google to make Google search the default in the Firefox browser search bar and hence send it search referrals; a Firefox themed Google search site has also been made the default home page of Firefox. A footnote in Mozilla's 2006 financial report states "Mozilla has a contract with a search engine provider for royalties. The contract originally expired in November 2006 but was renewed for two years and expires in November 2008. Approximately 85% of Mozilla’s revenue for 2006 was derived from this contract."; this equates to approximately US$56.8 million."
Each Mozilla user drives Google's adWords revenue. I wonder why paying $1 for Firefox download suddenly stopped making financial sense for Google?
In my opinion this was doomed to fail from the start as unless Google, the advertisers, and the publisher can all make money there is no-way for it to work.
[edited by: The_Contractor at 10:39 am (utc) on July 1, 2008]
My suspicion is that people were abusing it and the administrative headache to run it was worse than the $ that they could make from the referrals. And that it just wasn't getting enough downloads to warrant the effort put into it.
It's a shame, but I was not entirely surprised to see this. (Though I'd expected them to continue to run the Firefox referrals through the end of their contract with Mozilla.)
Edit to add that they could be planning on moving the Google referrals to GoogleClick. It does say on the web site FAQ that they're reviewing the Google referrals but also says they're suspended. So they might suspend them and then start a new program up later. One could hope.
[edited by: Leva at 11:26 am (utc) on July 1, 2008]
If Google cleans that up and makes it possible to show affiliate ads and create your own affiliate links through the AdSense program, the potential is promising.
I'm really surprised Google are pulling out of this. I'm sure they will now loose a group of people to other advertisers - thats probably exactly what they want to do.
I expect at some point in the future Google will replace it with a another referral programme.
farmboy: If I'm not mistaken, in the past if you signed up as a Performics affiliate for Merchant A and later decided you also wanted to be an affiliate for Merchant B, you had to apply again and create a new account.
Apply again - yes. Create new account - no. You probably remember good old ConnectCommerce days, when every merchant had a completely new affiliate signup page
What's funny to me is that when I log into AdSense, here is my JUNE 2008 Optimization Report:
Referrals can add incremental revenue to your site.
You are not currently using Referrals on your sites.
I wonder how long they've been planning this move, maybe since last week?
JUNE 2008 Optimization Report
LOL. At least they stopped those sad optimization reports long time ago for me (dunno why though).
One more indication that the various folks at The Plex do not talk to each other over their cool lava lamps. Or that the part-time intern who acts as lead programmer AND product manager AND customer service rep AND receptionist made a mistake. Is anyone actually in control of the Adsense group?