This is sure to have a few affiliate networks such as Commission Junction shaking in their booties. AdSense is inviting applications from publishers to run CPA campaigns in their beta program. This is where you don’t get paid per click, but when an action such as a sale or subscription results from a click. In other words, a good old traditional affiliate program.
Generally speaking, CPA payouts are quite a bit higher than per click as the advertiser is paying for performance rather than volume of traffic. CPA is particularly attractive to merchants as it can reduce their costs from garbage traffic and fraud; and therefore they can increase not only their profits, but also how much they pay to affiliates. That’s how it should work anyway :).
The new revenue generating option is still being marketed by the name of Adsense referrals; probably so that publishers easily identify it with other referrals programs they’ve had running for Firefox, Google Pack, Google Adwords and Google Adsense itself.
This is a pretty smart move on Google’s part and if they can get good quality programs, keep the costs for merchants down, the slice for publishers high, they’ll have merchants and affiliates alike absolutely flocking to them.
Some affiliate networks charge merchants an arm and a leg for administering CPA programs and even the initial network setup costs can keep many from even giving it a try. If Adsense referrals succeeds as a CPA network, there will be a few existing players needing to reduce service fees, merge or face becoming extinct.
If Google really want to crank this up, they should consider also offering a Google Referrals referral program :).
While I’ve been an AdSense “click” publisher for years, it’s never been my sole source of income from Taming the Beast.net. Equally important in terms of dollars have been the various CPA programs I’ve been involved with; so this new opportunity I do certainly find of interest.
Something to bear in mind though with any of these revenue generation programs is that it’s a good idea to spread the risk and work with a variety of networks. Becoming reliant on any one source of income in the affiliate marketing game blinkers you and is a rather precarious strategy.
Learn more about Google Referrals
Pick up some affiliate marketing tips