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Old 06-21-2006, 10:43 PM   #1

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Arrow Google testing CPA advertising

This is very big news because Google is entereing the CPA market. Right now they are calling it a test. Many have been wanting Google to become involved in CPA and see if they could add something different to CPA advertising that would make it more attractive. In addition to being able to produce some extra money for publishers, this could also provide extra income for Google without the click fraud headache.

It is almost impossible not to wonder what something such as this could do to some of the affiliate networks since Google is not some small player making an entrance.

Google already has CPC and CPM with the AdSense program. With the addition of CPA Google would then have covered much of what advertisers and publishers would want.

A few publishers have been invited to participate in this Cost-Per-Action test. Here is what Google has sent to publishers who were given the chance to take part in this test.
How do I participate in the CPA test?
Simply reply to the invitation email and express your interest in participating and we will send you some sample CPA ads. You can then choose which ads you’d like to host and we will send you the code to copy and paste on to your site. It’s just that easy!

What can I do to optimize my revenue from the CPA ads?
While we encourage you to experiment as much as possible with these ads on your site, here are some general tips on implementing a CPA ad:
1) Ads that blend in with the site and are placed prominently tend to perform better. Look to integrate the ad within the page.
2) Ads that are relevant to the interest of your site visitor also tend to perform better. For example, if you have a travel site, having ads relevant to airline travel would generate higher interest.

How do I get paid?
You get paid whenever a site visitor clicks on the ad on your site AND performs a specified action, such as generating a lead or purchasing a product.

Do these compete with regular content ads?
These ads will not compete with contextually targeted ads. Instead, they will show across a separate network, the Content Referral network. To place one of these ads on your site, you can set up a new ad unit that supports any of our current ad unit sizes.

How much could publishers expect to earn with this CPA test?
How much a publisher will earn will depend on a number of factors about the publisher and advertiser, including whether the ads match the topic of the site, and level of interest of their site visitors. We have tried to match the appropriate publishers with advertisers for this test.

Will CPA offerings compete with my current AdSense revenue?
We expect that the CPA test will offer ad units that will expand publishers AFC revenue because the ad units are separate and appeal to different types of users. These CPA ads are also additional inventory to your existing AFC ad units.

How can I promote the CPA ad unit?
Since this is a test and these CPA ads are not regular ad units, we are giving you more flexibility in saying things like “I recommend this product” or “Try JetBlue today” next to the CPA ad unit. However, you should still not incite someone to click on the ad, so saying “Click Here” is not ok.

Where do these CPA ads comes from?
The CPA ads come from a limited group of high quality advertisers that are interested in displaying ads on a CPA basis. They pay you whenever a site visitor performs a specified action, such as generating a lead or purchasing a product.

Will I be able to see reports within my account?
When the test begins, you will receive weekly email reports of conversions you have accrued and your total revenue within the CPA test.

Last edited by Larwee; 06-22-2006 at 03:07 AM.
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Old 06-23-2006, 03:10 PM   #2

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Default Google confirms testing

Google has confirmed what was already known. Google has confirmed they are testing a "cost-per-action" model. But they didn't add any real helpful information about their CPA model. They said it was being tested as a method to give advertisers more flexibility and provide publishers another way to earn revenue through AdSense.

It is only natural that there is a lot of speculation about this. In some cases, speculation is all that is possible until more information is made official and that will depend on the test results. There seems to be little doubt that Google is going to make this fully available to advertisers and publishers after the test is completed, and Google has given a small hint that they hope to do this. But there is always a chance that they won't.

While the general belief is that this CPA is going to be something in addition to the CPM and CPC of AdSense, some are thinking that some factors could cause Google to do away with the pay-per-click and go completely to the CPA. But many doubt it.

A lot might depend on shareholder thoughts. Those thoughts could be guided by the test results. If Google is able to make more money with the CPA model, many shareholders are going to be very impressed. There would be more money and the click fraud problem would be eliminated.

But the fact remains that history has shown that numerous advertisers have been very successful with the pay-per-click model and would want to continue to use it.

There are some who will have better results with the CPA model. So it might be a good idea to include both.

The same holds true with publishers. But it still remains that things do need to be done to reduce click fraud.

If and when Google puts both feet into CPA, it is sure to have a big impact and might cause some of the CPA networks to make some changes. Those changes could end up making things better for both merchants and publishers. There is also the chance that a Google entry into CPA could cause some very serious financial problems for some of the CPA networks. But Google is likely to also aim at those who aren't brand names and who haven't been using CPA networks in the past. The real problem for CPA networks would be if Google starts to pull some of their advertisers away from them.



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Old 06-23-2006, 04:02 PM   #3
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I blogged about it when it 1st came out too. This is really going to shake things up and make it interesting.
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Old 06-24-2006, 02:31 AM   #4
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An entirely CPA approach would severely reduce the number of sites purchasing ads.

If a site's income is based totally on showing third-party ads, and is just looking to build traffic, then they just want a click-through, not necessarily a sale right then.

There are also some advertisers who use set up a landing page totally about one specific product/offer from an existing CPA network, and then bid on PPC listings, such that (hopefully) the total earnings are higher than the total click costs.

Google converting to only CPA would make things more complex. If I were to buy some ads on a click-charged model, I only need to count total conversions/income over all of the clicks, in order to figure out if the deal is profitable. And the network where I am buying the traffic only needs to count the clicks, and divide the money among the publishers who showed my ad.

An all-CPA network has to keep track of which click from which publisher led to which conversion for which advertiser. And that requires much more data passing between the three parties. Which will reduce the number of advertisers willing/able to deal with the hassle, while increasing the resources used by Google.

Another issue the placement and format of the ads on the pages. As I have said before, I am very oriented to integrating CPA text links within the content, mixed right in with informative text and non-paying links. It presents them as helpful information, not blatant, pushy ads. And you place them were you want, and as many as you can reasonably include, on the page.

The AdSense text/banner look/placement doesn't appeal to me nearly as much, for CPA. I run some CPA banners, but only as last-resort filler (after CPM and CPC have defaulted.) IMHO, really competing with the existing CPA networks would require Google to grant more flexibility in placement and format.

On the other hand, Google would be able to jettison the click-fraud hassle.

And they might also be able to short-circuit the spammers who have recently been clogging up the main Google search engine. Apparantly, some of the flakiness of the regular listings (including large numbers of legit pages being crowded out), has involved a few spammers creating large numbers of automated pseudo-content pages which include AdSense banners. Perhaps going all-CPA would reduce the profitability of making useless spam pages where the visitor is mostly just interested in leaving through any available link (without really caring so much where it goes.)
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Old 06-27-2006, 01:07 PM   #5

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An entry by Google into the CPA market is really going to be very big and there are likely to be some massive changes as a results. Because of the size of Google, they are really going to be noticed and depending on what they do, they could cause the CPA networks to make very big changes.

If Google does well at this, that could also give Yahoo and Microsoft the idea to eventually enter the CPA market as well. If so, in a few years CPA could be a lot different than it is now.

Google is known for doing things a little different than others do and often this ends up being very successful. It is going to be very interesting to see just what they do with CPA.

There is a lot of talk about GBuy. Google might want to use GBuy as part of their CPA program. This way Google will be able to track the sales. That could be a very big help. They will know when sales are made and the actual amount.

There are programs that block tracking cookies. Google might try to come up with something that will make up for this problem.

Returns are to be expected. Some merchants can be less than honest and say there are more returns than there really are in order to pay less in commissons. Google will need to deal with this. They may or may not have a good plan for this.

Then there are those terrible landing pages with the telephone number all over it and all types of efforts directed at getting people to call that free number and place the order. The merchant makes a sale and publishers don't earn commissions for those sales. Google needs to tackle that and do whatever they need to in order to make certain this doesn't become a problem.

Google can make their CPA progam a big success by eliminating the issues that are big problems with other CPA networks and by adding many new features that will make it more exciting and more rewarding for the advertisers and the publishers.

Most CPA networks probably are a little concerned and very curious right now. They want to see what Google does and hope that it doesn't end up hurting them.
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Old 06-30-2006, 04:24 PM   #6
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I think the thing that concerns me is that as a publisher and an advertiser, and although I spend my days on the internet reading to try to keep up, I can't seem to keep up with all the new programs and additions to the Google family. In fact with some, I stare at the screen, sometimes trying to make sense of the facts.

For this, its a good thing. I just need to get my brain around it.

Will Google take over the world?

Last edited by Kathy; 06-30-2006 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 06-30-2006, 04:53 PM   #7

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I can relate to trying to keep up with things. My head is sometimes spinning as I try to keep current on the various industry changes. It is a lot harder to do now than it was several years ago because so much more is happening and things seem to happen much quicker.

Google can really keep people busy with all they are coming up with. They are huge and getting involved with so many different things, so a lot of people have some dealings with Google.

The entry of Google into CPA could really help make CPA much hotter. One reason is because Google often likes to put a new twist into how things are done. Their new and different ways of doing things often, but not always, end up making big improvements.

Google obviously wants to make money with their CPA addition. When Google makes money it often also helps others. Google could make things better for both advertisers as well as publishers.

If Google comes up with something that really makes a big difference, it could force some of the CPA networks to make major changes in order to deal with the Google challenge. This could help the publishers and advertisers using them.

While the Google entry into CPA could hurt some of the CPA networks, as a whole it could also do a lot to improve the CPA market and help put advertisers and publishers in a winning situation.
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Old 06-30-2006, 11:10 PM   #8

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Honestly, though, how scary would it be if they do conquer CPA? Professional web publishers already depend on Google's magic algo to help bring traffic to their sites, they depend increasingly on AdSense to monetize ad units and if Google starts winning clients over from the affiliate networks, publishers will likely move in droves towards throwing all of their eggs in one basket.

Those networks in the CPA space already are going to have to really up the ante if this happens, not only to protect their own market, but to ensure that publishers are still provided with the luxury of choice.

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Old 07-04-2006, 12:46 AM   #9
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Does Google's CPA program allow incentivizing/have sub-ID tracking?
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Old 07-04-2006, 01:05 AM   #10

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This is just in the testing stage right now, demae. The advertisers and publishers who are involved in the test aren't suppose to give out any specific information about the test.

It is possible that after the test ends, Google might decide not to enter the CPA market. But the general belief is that they will. They could come up with a lot of new ideas and changes based upon what the test shows.

At the present time it isn't possible to say how the Google CPA program will work or even be positive that they will introduce a CPA program after they conclude testing.

Many people are waiting to see what Google decides to do.
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Old 07-24-2006, 09:03 PM   #11
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Yeah, we're waiting on trying this out too. Our reps are set to go with it & it will be interesting to see the results. It will make life a whole lot easier then dealing with CPC analysis.

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Old 07-24-2006, 11:16 PM   #12
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With google loving to give things away for FREE it will be interesting to see how they will filter out companies like CJ does, if they even plan to do that!

It's going to be really interesting!
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Old 07-25-2006, 10:00 AM   #13
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Indeed very interesting, but I presume there may be a lot of fraud connected to this once again! Checking a database of about 1000 advertisers whether they have their sales code in place is one thing, but of 100'000 or even more, another!

I really don't want to draw the devil on the board, trust me, I love the idea, but it still gives me concerns...


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