I have been playing around with the Google AdSense referrals the past week or so as I have been doing some updating and some client work. And I have definitely discovered some serious pain points with the referrals program. So here is my wishlist for AdSense Referrals
Let me set a location & keep it there
Everytime I search for a new referral, I have to keep changing my location from Canada… even though somewhere in the neighborhood of 95% of my traffic is US based, and I am not even sure 1% of the overall traffic to all my sites is Canadian. So obviously, showing Canadian ads wouldn’t be in my best financial interest So please give me the option to set US as my preference… and then remember it, whether with a cookie or an option to set it in the control panel. This is my number one pain point with AdSense Referrals and is so annoying to change each time.
Being anti-back button
I can’t count the number of times I hit the back button after viewing the specifics for a referral, then being hit with the AdSense Setup Product Landing Page. So then I have to click Referrals once again to get to the referrals product page… and you guessed it, have to go through the process of changing the location from Canada to US. Please take me back to the listing page showing the various referrals in the category, and not back to the product landing page.
Image versus text referrals
I have done enough testing that I know some placements or page/content styles (such as forums) tend to do better when the ad is an image one instead of a regular AdSense text ad. But there isn’t a way to easily search only image ads, I have to click each individual referral to see if image ads are available. This could easily be added to the ad size drop down menu.
If you don’t have any referrals available in a certain subcategory, don’t show me that category as a selection to click. It is very annoying to click down to a subcategory, only to find there are no referral listings in it once I view it.
Subscribe to certain categories for new referral alerts
I know AdSense wants publishers to use more referrals. Why not give publishers the option to subscribe to certain categories, and let us know via email or on the AdSense account dashboard that there are new referrals available, what companies they are for, with a link to take us directly to the referral’s “Get referral code” page. Yes, I know publishers can select a category instead of specific product referrals and AdSense will automatically update them. But I am one of those who wants more control, and I like to pick and chose my referrals, so why not let me know that you have something new in a category I am watching.
Show me the money
Either show the referral amount in the general referral listing page, or give publishers the option to add the column alongside the “Performance on Network” column. It is annoying having to select each one individually to see what the payout terms are. As an added bonus for Google, this might encourage some advertisers to up their payouts, if a competitor is paying more money for the lead/purchase, and it is easy to view them from the “Choose Referrals page”
Let’s get searching
When I am viewing a list of referrals within a category or after a product search, and nothing strikes my fancy for a particular website I am working on, why not have that product search box on those pages too? It would make searching for new referrals so much quicker, without having to click the “Find more products” link to go back, or if you are like me, accidentally hitting the back button and having to start all over again.
My wish list actually turned out to be much longer than I anticipated, I am not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing! Any guesses on how many of these things will actually turn into reality at some point in the Google Referrals evolution?