Google may be sticking its toes into Affiliate Programs.
They apparently are calling these CPA (Cost Per Action) ads, but
what that means is that publishers get paid not for clicks but
for some specific action at an advertiser's site: buying
something, providing information, whatever. That's an
Affiliate Program, Google is just naming it something
Interestingly, this comes at the same time that eBay is
murmuring about its own affiliate style thingy. What they
intend to do is let sites like this run ads pointing at
appropriate auctions. For example, we might run ads for
auctions related to computer hardware, and would get paid if
someone reading here clicked through and won the auction
(or purchased a Buy It Now item).
Well, heck, I though that might be interesting, so I
moseyed over and tried to sign up. Turns out eBay intends to
use Commission Junction as their processing arm for this. That
caused me to scowl a bit: CJ has a bit of a negative connotation
in my mind because of earlier experiences. I had a CJ account
once but let it lapse because, well, because the programs offered
were too slimy and hucksterish for my taste.
Long story short, the folks at CJ, master marketers that
they are, won't let me sign up because I canned the program
I originally signed up for. This is what they said, honest:
As stated in the Publisher Service Agreement, if any of our Publishers do not generate revenue for more than 6 months, we automatically deactivate them. This policy ensures that our network is efficient and beneficial to our Advertisers and Publishers. Since your account is no longer active in our network, your page will register as "expired" among the advertisers with whom you were previously affiliated. Unfortunately, deactivated accounts are not eligible for reactivation.
Isn't that brilliant? They go on to say that I can "sign up for another account using an alternate e-mail address". Oh, I see: I'm rotten meat
as publisher because YOUR program wasn't any good, but I should feel
free to use another email address to get back in good graces. That's
like telling the guy who mugged you last night that he can do it
again if he will just wear a different mask. Except I didn't mug them; they
mugged me. Yeah, I know: bad analogy.
Anyway, I bet that just the use of CJ alone will turn off more
than a few publishers who might otherwise have been interested. What's
up with that, E-Bay? Surely you could handle your own affiliate
program - why did you bring these guys into it? Especially since
Google is the 800 pound gorilla likely to turn CJ into
quivering pile of mush. What was eBay thinking?
I'm thinking the heck with eBay, and I'm looking forward to Google's
CPA ads, that's what I'm thinking.
CPM and CPC advertising has been paying less and less, no doubt
because of the tremendous amount of click fraud: it just makes
sense for advertisers to lower their bids to compensate. But
CPA is an entirely different story. For example, I run
ads advertising Kerio
products. I pay Google 75 cents or less per click, but I'd
pay a heck of a lot more for anything that actually turned into
a sale - or even a legitimate prospect. I'd love to be able
to do CPA ads with Google on that. And on the other side,
I'd like to run appropriate and relevant CPA ads here, too.
Well, the program isn't public yet, so we'll have to wait
for details. And who knows, maybe eBay will wake up and realize
CJ is a lousy partner for their venture into advertising affiliate
I'm not holding my breath.
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© 2012-07-16 Anthony Lawrence