Google Launches Pay Per Action Ads

Google announced a limited U.S. only beta for a new service they are calling Pay Per Action ads. Google Pay Per Action will allow advertisers to create ads that cost only when a desired action is triggered. The advertiser sets the price per action; for example, an advertiser can decide to pay $5 per lead acquisition, as opposed to paying per click or per impression.

These Pay Per Action ads are available to a limited number of AdSense publishers. Publishers will be able to select which Pay Per Action ads they would like to display on their content sites. A publisher accepted into the beta can choose to display all pay per action ads, or select to show keyword specific ads or select a specific ad from a specific advertiser. To do so, the publisher will have to login to their AdSense accounts, go to the referrals section and select other referrals from the options.

Currently, Google is not allowing a percentage based pricing scheme. Advertisers can only set a flat price prior to building out the ad. In addition, advertisers can select from a text ad, static image ad, and flash ad. Google is adding a new type of ad unit, a hyperlink text link and currently the video ad option is not available for pay per action ads. All the ad units will show “ads by Google” with the exception of the the hyperlink unit. The hyperlink unit will only show “ads by Google” when you hover over the link.

Google is accepting U.S. advertisers and publishers into the beta now. Google plans on adding more advertisers and publishers into the program over the upcoming weeks.

More information: AdWords sign up page:

AdWords blog post:

AdSense sign up page:

AdSense blog post:

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Google: AdSense | Google: AdWords


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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  • Eddie Walter

    Hey Barry,

    Good post. As I stated on my blog post, this really makes me curious as to how Google is going to use text links. How are they going to implement and render them? And is it another industry they have their eye set on conquering?

    Good post. Made me think…

  • rustybrick

    The text links will be JavaScript based, but look like standard hyperlinks.


    Why isn’t this Payperpost II? They basically say you should promote the person’s items without even knowing if they are good or bad. And their disclosure is just a mouseover.

    I go into more discussion on my site (click my name)…

  • Eddie Walter


    From what I’ve read and seen, the text links provided by Google are still located somewhere outside the “content” of the page. The header, sidebar, footer, etc… So, in my mind at least, there’s really no comparison to PayPerPost. And remember, the only organization that I recall having a big problem with PPP was the FTC. I think it has to do with companies buying advertising (“endorsements”) without disclosing that it’s advertising. I don’t know.

    Interesting point though.

  • Dudu Mimran


    I wrote about this move two years ago when Google acquired Urchin. See


  • geeurbie

    My business is geared for the small website owner and I work for only organic results. However, PPA will change this somewhat. I having been waiting for this for a long time. I would never use PPV but PPA makes a lot of sense to me.

    I already know that 70% of my website visitors are not looking to purchase. Paying for a specific action makes a lot of sense.

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