AdSense Launches Referral Program
Just in case there is any webmaster on the planet that isn’t using AdSense, the mighty Google has launched a referral program.
The program has two ways to generate income. The first is the fairly obvious one of getting a payout for signing up new users to the AdSense program:
When a user you’ve referred to AdSense first earns US $100, we’ll credit your AdSense account with US $100.
That’s a pretty sweet, albeit one-time-only payout. Ideally an affiliate program would have you earning a percentage of your recruits’ earnings long term, so this one really is slanted towards Google; I would interpret the high payout amount as a way to offset this slant. Also a 2nd teir [payouts on your referrals' referrals] would have been nice too.
The second way is an unexpected promotion for the Google Firefox toolbar. [Yes, I would interpret this as a dig at Microsoft and the Internet Explorer browser]:
When a user youâ€™ve referred to Firefox plus Google Toolbar runs Firefox for the first time, youâ€™ll receive up to $1 in your account, depending on the userâ€™s location.
This part of the program is probably where the real money is to be made. Since only 10% of surfers are using Firefox, there is a potentially huge payout for getting people to try the browser and the Google Toolbar at the same time.
Currently the “Firefox plus Google Toolbar” tab isn’t active so I couldn’t grab a slice of sample code but if you have a website with decent traffic levels, especially if it is tech related at all, you can create a good alternative earnings stream from promoting the Firefox browser. It really is a much better product than IE, so it is an easy sell.
Overall the referral program is an aggressive move by Google to strengthen their grip on Internet advertising. It is fascinating to see this company develop and continue to extend their reach and power.