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November 04, 2005

New AdSense referral feature launched

If you have wanted to make money by referring publishers to AdSense, yet haven't been accepted into the AdSense & AdWords referral program, you are in luck! You can now earn $100 per new publisher, when they sign up for AdSense and earn $100 in revenue.

When you login to your AdSense account, you will see a new tab for the referral program, which you will need to opt-in to if you plan to promote it. You have official buttons you can place on your website, and you need to use the code exactly as it is given to you. There are no options for text links at this time.

When you refer a new publisher and that publisher is approved and has earned $100 in AdSense revenue, you will receive a $100 publisher bonus for that successful referral.


This button will be handy for publishers wishing to comment on how their site is monetized without drawing attention to the ads.

If you are a US publisher, you also have an option to refer visitors to download Firefox with the Google AdSense toolbar installed. For every visitor who installs, you will earn $1. This is one of those times I wish I lived in the US! It is unfortunate this isn't available outside of the US, especially for those publishers (like myself!) whose traffic is 90-95% US based. I could have done well with that one.

Here is an example of the Firefox referral button.


You can check your referral earnings by clicking on the arrow next to Referrals, and it is split for new publisher and Firefox referrals.

There currently is not an option for referring new advertisers, but I would love to see this option added in the future, particularly if it is tied to the "Advertise on this site" links that some special beta tester websites are displaying.

It is worth knowing that the former invitation-only referral program is now exclusively for AdWords referrals only, so there are no competing services.

Now publishers will need to decide which is the better program to promote... AdSense or the often publicized Chitika referral program that is getting heavy rotation these past few weeks.

More info can be found on the AdSense What's New page, and the How do I implement a referral button?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld, SearchEngineWatch and Digital-Point.

Posted by Jenstar at November 4, 2005 10:05 AM

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Awesome, I knew this was coming, but I didn't realize that the "launch" day was today! off to write about it :P

Posted by: Einari at November 4, 2005 11:11 AM

Gimme a text link, or give me death! :)

Posted by: Shawn Hogan at November 4, 2005 11:50 AM

I would have also liked to see text links, but I can understand completely why they aren't offering them, at least not yet.

Posted by: Jenstar at November 4, 2005 12:17 PM

Nice of Google to send me one, even though my Adsense account is closed. A bit tricky logging in.

Posted by: paul wells at November 4, 2005 06:05 PM

If/when our Adsense accounts are closed, do we still get our referral money?

Or will these be also labeled "invalid" refers.

As a matter of fact I signed up for Adsense again. I can still click my own ads. But this time I just have to be a bit more careful. :)

Posted by: yahoorocks at November 4, 2005 06:59 PM

It is really a pity that non-US publishers can't take part in the Firefox referral program. Would have been great for my Firefox extension's site.

Posted by: Leon at November 5, 2005 12:02 AM

How very interesting! Get paid $1 (max based upon location) for a Firefox download (with google toolbar of course). This is making individual capitilists into open source marketers, fantastic! Along with propelling Firefox, all those who have spent their free time laboring over Firefox plug-ins (one of the things that makes Firefox so great!) also get a boost. I guess this is good cause not to fork Firefox into your own distro, such as Flock has done. Flock would be getting an immediate, indirect, boost from this as a plug-in to Firefox.

Posted by: Christos at November 5, 2005 10:18 AM

I can't stand that Chitika stuff. I think it's just plain ugly. This is a welcome addition to the AdSense portfolio.

Posted by: Scott Johnson at November 5, 2005 03:35 PM

dissapointed, as I can't get firefox referral $$ in Canada, although my market is mostly the US. Seems real short sighted to me.

Posted by: AmericanBulldog at November 6, 2005 09:10 AM

any idea how long the cookie lasts on the hit?

Posted by: Spider Ninja at November 7, 2005 05:45 PM

This all looks like Google is getting worried about YPN and they're trying whatever means they can to get people locked into them. Any bets that soon the Google terms and conditions will say that you can't use any other ad network?

Posted by: Paul Wells at November 8, 2005 12:50 PM

I share with you the frustration about not being able to use the Firefox referral system because I am UK based. What irks most is that Google rarely explains these things - what I call the Google Uncertainty Principle. I couldn't find anything anywhere that said I couldn't promote Firefox, it's just that there is no information in my control panel that tells me how to. Why don't they just say "US only for the time being"? It would save a lot of time (but I'd still be frustrated!)

Posted by: William Charlwood at November 9, 2005 10:28 AM

Hmm, I wonder are there legal issues with their Firefox/toolbar promotion outside the US? It could potentially fall under the EU's (rather draconian in some cases) competitiveness laws. Irritating tho; some 90% of my visitors are US-based these days.

Posted by: Rob at November 9, 2005 06:54 PM

I think Google's targeting the US only initially for a few reasons
- seeing if referals fit in with Adsense
- hitting Microsoft at home

Even though it's only US-targeted, the ability to *be* refered is not so it's all good for Firefox!

Posted by: Get Firefox at November 20, 2005 01:04 PM