AdSense Publisher View Of Google Pay Per Action

Last week Google launched Pay Per Action in beta version for some AdSense publishers and AdWords advertisers. I logged into my Google AdSense account this morning, and noticed that my referrals section was redone to allow me to start placing Google Pay Per Action referrals on my site.

Below I will take you through a screen by screen view of Pay Per Action from the Google AdSense publisher side of things.

Choose Referral Locale:
When I clicked on the referrals link within the AdSense Setup screen I saw a new option to “Choose Referral Locale.” As you can see from the screen capture below, I selected “English,” which then took me to the next step.

Picture 1

Choose Referrals:
The next screen is where I can select either “Google referrals” or “All referrals.” Google referrals currently consist of Google AdSense, Google AdWords, Google Checkout, Firefox plus Google Toolbar and Google Pack. The “all referrals” link shows me hundreds of different referrals broken down by category.

The categories available include Autos, Business-to-Business, Consumer Products, Entertainment, Finance, Insurance, Travel and Vacations, and Technology and software. You can also search for referral products by product name or keyword.

You can also see that on the right hand side is a section that shows you your “Ad Shopping Cart.” The Ad Shopping Cart has a summary all the referrals you selected; we will get to this later. Here is a screen capture of the “choose referrals” page.

Picture 2

By clicking on “all referrals” you are first presented with Google referrals followed by referrals ordered alphabetically. Here is a screen shot of that page.

Picture 3

In the example below, I checked off the referral product and then I am presented three different text ad types, in the form of a banner ad. The action required to earn the $38.46 is “Sign up for a free trial through the demo center.” Here is a screen capture:

Picture 4

I then did some more browsing and landed on a image ad from Share Builder that paid $38.46 but the “action” required to earn the money says “N/A.” So I have no idea when I would get paid if someone clicked on that ad. Here is a screen capture:

Picture 5

Choose Referral Options:
The next step is to choose the referral options, which consist of selecting the ad block format (sometimes this won’t be an option, depending on the types of ads you picked), selecting a color for the text ads and specifying a channel. Here is a screen capture:

Picture 6

Get Referral Code:
Finally I am presented with the referral code to place on my site. So here is the live referral code that should rotate between three different Pay Per Action ads. Yes, you can click on them and yes I can tell you to click on them. I can even encourage you to sign up, since these are not part of the contextual product offering from Google, they have different program policies.

Here it is:

Looking good, but I see plenty of room for improvement on the management side. Of course, this is just an early beta at this time.

Related Topics: Channel: Display | Google: AdSense


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • mtb167

    Great post.

    If i may make a suggestion. Next time – get a screen video capture app and walk me through the process via video.

    I would have loved to see that.

    But good stuff. I’m definitely excited about this new program

  • mtb167

    I just dugg this – give it a diggin

  • rustybrick

    I would have but there is sensitive data on the screen, which I had to cut out of the images.

    Video, it is hard to cut out that information. At least hard for me to do it.

  • mtb167

    Ahhhhh. I see.

    Here’s an idea, although probably over the top and not worth it -

    take screen shots of what you’re going to display, blur out the sensitive stuff, and absolute position links to the next censored screen shot.

    Also, you would cut down on unnecessary Google loading time in the video. Like a baking show.

    But that might take too much time, and not be worth it to you.

  • Pablo Palatnik

    Shoemoney had a good post on why Google CPA might not really work well but from the looks of the screen shots, looks good to me. Im sure they’ll keep developing it as they see user response (whether good or bad) until they find something that sticks…has anyone come close to adsense yet?

  • Carsten Cumbrowski


    I was writing a primer about Google Pay per action and how Google uses it for its own referral programs via AdSense.

    I listened a bit late to the “The Pulse” episode from 3/27 while I was working on it and thought that I had to incorporate some comments in my post at ReveNews about Google / CPA and Google Text Links in general.

    Sorry for correcting two of your statements, but I made sure that I link to with the “right” anchor text :)

    How Google utilizes (and also NOT utilizes) their own Pay per cost service for their own referral programs might also be of interest for you.

    A Google Referral Programs Primer

    It took me some time to dig all the information up, because Google did not provide them as nicely as they would have, if they would not be an affiliate marketing newbie :)

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