My question was very simple: I wanted to know how I could promote products using CPA (Cost Per Action) on the Google Network and allow publishers who have access to “AdSense Referrals” to promote my products by placing a piece of code on their web sites, and when someone clicked over to my web site and purchased one of my products, the publisher would get a piece of the sale.
Classic “Affiliate Program” stuff – where this time around, I wanted to be the merchant, and not the affiliate.
I contacted a Google AdWords Specialist on chat – who turned out to be not as much as a “specialist” as you would think they would be.
Read the chat transcript below to see how long it takes for the rep to even understand my question, and give out a meaningful answer. It is painfully obviously that I know more about Google Products than her!
But I am glad that she eventually gave in and deferred the question to a “technical specialist” (read: someone who knows their $hi#).
Completely unedited except for minor reformatting for readability, and removing of private content.
Chat Information: Thank you for contacting Google AdWords. Please hold a moment while we route your chat to a specialist who will help you with your question: “”.
Chat Information: AM has received your message and will be right with you.
AM: Hello Ravi. Thanks for contacting Google AdWords. I’m happy to help you.
AM: Could you clarify what you mean by referrals?
AM: Ravi, are you there?
Ravi Jayagopal: yes
Ravi Jayagopal: I meant, how would I advertise through Adsense Referrals?
Ravi Jayagopal: I’m currently using Referrals as a publisher
Ravi Jayagopal: I want to advertise my product through Referrals, so that publishers can promote my product, and then I would pay them a commission based on sale
Ravi Jayagopal: you there?
AM: Well, I am actually an AdWords specialist so I am really not familiar with AdSense Referrals.
AM: However, you can find out more at https://www.google.com/adsense/static/en_US/Referrals.html?gsessionid=N8x_KdsMNys.
AM: Referrals Help Center
AM: In the Help Center, there is a Quick Start guide.
Ravi Jayagopal: I don’t want Adsense referrals, actually
Ravi Jayagopal: I want to “advertise” – so wouldn’t that fall under “AdWords”?
Ravi Jayagopal: Publisher -> Adsense
Ravi Jayagopal: Advertiser – AdWords
Ravi Jayagopal: No?
AM: Yes Ravi, but you asked about Referrals.
AM: Referrals is not a part of AdWords.
AM: It looks like you already have an AdWords account.
AM: What do you have questions about in particular?
Ravi Jayagopal: Ok, here’s my question: Right now, as a “Publisher”, I pick out referral ads and display them on my site, and I make money when my visitor clicks on those referral ads and goes on to buy something. With me so far?
AM: Yes Ravi.
Ravi Jayagopal: Ok, now I want to put my “Advertiser” hat on and promote my product so that “other” publishers can promote “My” product through the referrals network
Ravi Jayagopal: how would I become an “Advertiser” and promote my product?
AM: Through the Content Network.
Ravi Jayagopal: Ah, that’s what I wanted to know
Ravi Jayagopal: So is there a way to say “Referrals” when I put my ad out on Adwords?
AM: You do already have an AdWords account with the email address <
AM: All you will need to do to appear on other sites is to opt into the content network when you create your campaigns.
AM: We don’t use that term.
Ravi Jayagopal: But when I opt-in to the “Content Network”, it automatically becomes just a PPC campaign right?
AM: We call your advertisements ads and we call our publisher sites ‘the content network.’
Ravi Jayagopal: I don’t want it to be PPC, but a CPA item
AM: You can also create a CPM campaign.
AM: Cost Per Impression if you’d like.
Ravi Jayagopal: not CPM. I’m talking about CPA – cost per action
Ravi Jayagopal: which is what Referrals is – CPA.
AM: That is not an option right now Ravi.
Ravi Jayagopal: then how are all these advertisers on Adsense Referrals?
AM: Again Ravi, I’m not familiar with AdSense referrals.
Ravi Jayagopal: Is there someone higher up who can help me with this question? Because it is definitely not an AdSense question – because AdSense is for Publishers
AM: If you want to contact the AdSense team to ask them about that, you can email them directly at email@example.com.
Ravi Jayagopal: and I am talking as an Advertiser
AM: Ravi, they will only be able to tell you what I am telling you, that you can create advertising campaigns that you’ll pay on an impression or click base.
AM: Those are the only options right now for our advertisers.
Ravi Jayagopal: So how are these advertisers advertising on a CPA basis? That’s what I want to know
Ravi Jayagopal: If you don’t know the answer, I would appreciate if you could put me through to someone who does
Ravi Jayagopal: But don’t tell me I’m asking the wrong question
AM: Please hold on just a moment Ravi.
Ravi Jayagopal: Ok, thanks
AM: CPA is not an option at this time in your account Ravi. I just checked with our technical specialist.
Ravi Jayagopal: Why? And when would it be?
AM: It’s a limited beta right now. If you give me the best email address to reach you at, I can email you if it does become available.
Ravi Jayagopal: ok…thanks…it’s <
AM: You’re most welcome.
You cannot yet sign up as an “Advertiser” and promote your products through Google “Referrals”. It is in limited beta, and unless you were invited to be part of the beta, you would have to wait until they open it up to others.
As much as I love Google and probably qualify as a “Google FanBoi”, I have to say, Google sucks at most things not handled by their machines (read: Human Beings).